October 2005

Sunday, October 30, 2005

NaNoWriMo History Lesson

If you know me, you know that I’ve been obsessively documenting things for years. The whole NaNoWriMo thing fits very well with that. And for those of you just joining the NaNoWriMo program, you’ll find out that I’ve been conducting an experiment for the past two years.

I have this theory that for each of us exist the perfect writing conditions. And if I keep track of my writing, I might actually stumble across the formula by trial and error. To that end, I’ve been tracking my word count while writing in 15 minute increments. In the bigger scheme of things, I’ve been keeping track of my wordcount on a daily level and here’s how I’ve done over the past four years for each day of November:
...........2001…......2002…......2003…......2004
1…......3,032….....1,423….......850….........0
2…......3,034….....3,221….....3,276….........0
3…......3,034….....6,159….....3,276….........0
4…......3,034….....6,159….....3,276….........0
5…......3,034….....7,988….....4,009….........0
6…......4,853….....7,988….....4,009….........0
7…......7,699….....7,988….....4,009…....10,076
8…......7,699…....10,271….....7,031…....10,076
9…......7,699…....11,017…....11,536…....10,076
10….....9,371…....12,604…....11,536…....10,076
11….....9,371…....16,340…....11,536…....11,862
12….....9,371…....16,340…....14,069…....11,862
13….....9,371…....16,340…....14,069…....11,862
14….....9,371…....16,705…....14,069…....16,855
15…....12,096…....20,071…....23,954…....16,855
16…....14,824…....23,726…....27,099…....16,855
17…....16,754…....25,280…....27,099…....16,855
18…....16,754…....30,672…....27,099…....16,855
19…....21,030…....30,672…....28,857…....16,855
20…....25,076…....33,239…....31,733…....26,115
21…....25,076…....33,239…....31,733…....31,161
22…....25,076…....34,891…....31,733…....31,161
23…....25,076…....34,891…....31,733…....31,161
24…....35,025…....35,482…....34,512…....35,175
25…....40,388…....35,482…....34,512…....35,175
26…....42,589…....35,482…....34,512…....35,175
27…....42,589…....35,482…....34,512…....42,108
28…....48,512…....37,277…....38,247…....49,006
29…....50,046…....47,286…....47,330…....50,236
30…....51,426…....56,789…....50,455…....50,236

If nothing else, this chart shows that I never start well, I’m always behind in the middle and I always finish. Beyond that, the only thing that I’ve found has made me write is the desperate pursuit of documenting my obsessive wordcount obsession.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:09 pm     NaNoWriMoComments (1)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Blog Ethics

I guess there are some accepted principles in blogging. One is that you don’t change your posts, but rather add to them or show changes. I do this (though if I just published, and haven’t pinged, I will make changes and if I find that an image messes up the layout, I’ll move it, but that doesn’t change the content).

The second is you don’t delete valid comments. It’s odd but the only place I’ve been tempted to delete comments (besides blogging.la) is on Candy Blog when I’ve had a few WTF? comments that were out of line (after all, it’s candy, not politics). Of course Fast Fiction is hardly visited let alone well traveled.

Here’s where things have suddenly gone off the deep end:

If you read my previous post about Steve Almond’s piece on Salon about his encounter with literary blogger Mark Sarvas, then you may have visited Mark’s post in response.

When I first saw his post, it had 6 comments. I went to bed, the next day it had 20 comments and the commenting had been closed, because Mark said that he was not willing to moderate comments during Yom Kippur (totally cool, in my book, you can always unlock comments later). But now ALL COMMENTS have disappeared. They were there yesterday, including the 20th comment which was Mark’s point by point refutation of Steve’s article.

Okay, I know it’s Mark’s blog, but there’s a contract that you make with your readers. That if you have comments then you accept comments under whatever terms you set up. (Yeah, yeah, no spam, no off topic, no linking to porn, whatever you want your rules to be.) You can close them, I really don’t think it was out of line, but deleting is just plain heresy. This reeks of inexperience or worse, fear. I hope that Mark made some mistake during his blog maintanence and deleted the comment thread instead of actually pulling all of them, including his own. The rule is if you say it, stand behind it. If you want to retract it, don’t erase it.

But here I am, dispensing blog advice. The girl with the blog that gets barely 30 hits a day. But I’d hope that should I end up with a thousand-fold of hits and comments, I’d still behave the same way.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:20 pm     Curious NewsComments (1)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ah, writers

I was reading Salon.com this evening and saw the most fascinating article featured on the front.
The blogger who loathed me:
My cyber-nemesis had been trashing me for months. Then we met, and I had a chance to take a terrible revenge
. by Steve Almond. Yes, Steve Almond, that guy who wrote Candy Freak and I did that radio interview with on Radio Open Source back in August.

What gets the story into true weirdness-mode is the blogger he’s referring to in the article ... Mark Sarvas. You know, the guy who writes The Elegant Variation. Okay, you may not read his blog. Actually, I don’t read his blog. He has one of those blogs that as a writer I feel like I should be reading, but I just can’t. It’s not that I don’t read much fiction, but I can’t stand his writing style. The imperial we, the distancing ... gah.

When I worked in development (not the money raising kind, the reading scripts for movies kind) I read a lot of screenplays and a goodly number of novels, manuscripts and plays. I also met a lot of writers. Eventually I found that I could tell how mentally stable a person was by their text, even their neuroses if I read more than one work.

I’m not saying that Mark Sarvas is nuts, because I don’t think he is. He’s actually very sweet. I met him before he started his literary blog, back in ‘03 when we were ramping up for National Novel Writing Month. He and I exchanged emails and he came to our kick-off party and though he wasn’t going to be noveling with us, he donated three functional laptops to the cause.

But something has always put me at a distance from his writing, so I might look at the blog, but I rarely read it, because I can’t.

Anyway, back to the article - it’s basically about Steve and Mark finding themselves on the same reading panel at the Writer’s Faire. And of course Steve documents all the intricacies of his devilish mind, because that’s what writers do, they open themselves up to us, whether as themselves or through their characters. It’s risky business and neither Mark nor Steve look like sweet-smelling roses at the end of this. But I was able to read Steve’s account of it and enjoy it. Mark’s ... well, not so much. I see Mark has already posted a response.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:29 pm     Curious NewsComments (2)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Gone Missing

I’m a bit distressed right now about my candy blog.

The template for it has disappeared. I can’t publish anything new ... I don’t know what happened, but it started last night.

I’m planning on re-doing the site entirely, but that won’t be ready for two or three weeks.

I guess I can redo the template from scratch (I didn’t customize the default template much anyway).

So, if you’re wondering where your candyblog goodness for Monday is, it’s still in my head.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:46 am     Curious NewsComments (1)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

No Coverage?

Is it just me or does the coverage of the South Asia quake suck?

I’ve been watching TV for 20 minutes and haven’t seen anything yet. CNN Headline news has political, domestic stuff and health but since I missed the half hour mark, I guess that’s the only coverage. MSNBC has continued its regular coverage ... CNN has on Larry King. The freaking scroll at the bottom of the screen is talking about Reese Witherspoon’s baby and some tropical storm off Bermuda.

18,000 people killed in Pakistan alone and the internets seem to be the only place where people have taken notice.

UPDATE: It’s 90 minutes later and the CNN Headline news continues to report the earthquake as bad but gives it a scant 45 seconds and says that the death toll is only 2,000. But the main page of CNN has been saying that the death toll is over 18,000 for at least two hours. What’s going on with these people?

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:52 pm     Curious NewsComments (1)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Dreaming on the web

Since starting NaNoWriMo this year, the launch of the new forums brought the usual anxiety.

I awoke early on Sunday morning just to check how the forums were doing (launch didn’t go so well).

Since then I’ve been dreaming in forums.

Yes, my dreams are formatted as forum posts and replies.

Not all my dreams, I’m sure. But my dreams that I’ve remember are definitely oddly confined to a text exchange world.

I don’t know if this means that I’m spending too much time on the forums or if it means that I’m just learning a new language or if the wifi in the house is allowing me to tap into the site in my dreams.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:58 pm     NaNoWriMoCurious NewsComments (0)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

NaNoWriMo - Onward and Upward

I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee. Tepid, I found it in the coffee carafe this morning, leftover from yesterday. I reheated it and have just about finished it.

I got up early this morning mostly because I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep yesterday either and I don’t know if it’s NaNoWriMo or just the fact that I’ve been getting to bed at a decent hour.

The new season of NaNoWriMo was supposed to launch yesterday. Though I was off at a wedding (one of two Lauras getting married this month), I was worried that I was going to miss all the excitement. I’m kind of glad I did.

The new year launched, signups started, the old users re-upped and the flood of virtual exuberance brought the server down. Now I can see all these posts up there on the boards, but I can’t log in, let alone respond. It’s a frustrating position to be in, but I think it’s one I need to experience and learn from. I’m one of those people who has grown up in this increasingly technologically sophisticated age and I do want stuff instantly.

I want to pause live TV, I want to see news as it happens, I want to be able to find anyone, anywhere they might be. Though you’d be suprised to hear that I don’t have a blackberry or sidekick. Instead I just sit at home in front of my keyboard.

Today, instead, I will go out. I need to get dog food, so I’ll also do some shopping at the same plaza. And then, if things are still down on the site, I’ll try to go out and do something else. I’m thinking a trip down to Little Tokyo might be in order - I’m just about out of candy right now.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:43 am     NaNoWriMoComments (0)




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.