Wednesday, November 30, 2005
I took off from work about 30 minutes early and headed over to Sabor y Cultura for my final session.
I had very little clue how I was goign to bring this thing to a close within 5,000 words, but I think part of the lesson of NaNoWriMo is giving up on those plans that one might have at the beginning of the month. I might have though that I was going to write a road trip, a dark comedy about a poor downtrodden fellow who never gets a break.
What I ended up writing is a novel that never quite gets there. I throw a lot of crap at Daniel and he seems to bear it well, but not as well as I thought he would (what do I know?). But that’s okay, it provides drama.
So, what was supposed to be a story of Daniel, who loses his family in a series of terrible tragedies that he seems unable to prevent or mitigate yet he maintains a sort of loose life affirming demeanor. He works as a sort of character/production assistant on a wee-hours-of-the-morning TV show. The morning that he loses his latest apartment in a house fire (and manages to save the landlady from certain death) he ends up getting the assignment that will promote him to the next level. He’s going to be the remote producer for a “road trip” where he is to pick up a family (brother from St. Louis and parents from South Carolina), document their trip and then return them to Pittsburgh for a reunion/re-enactment for a Christmas tree cutting.
What ends up happening is that Daniel hasn’t borne these tragedies as well as I thought he would. He’s much moodier than I’d thought he’d be, but luckily the cameraman I sent him on this trip with also happens to have gotten copious therapy for his traumas during the first Gulf war. He guides Daniel through accepting his inability to move past his inability to change anything. Blah, blah, blah. Anyway, so I abandoned the road trip when they got to St. Louis, had them turn around and come back. Happy ending.
25 hours 29 minutes of writing
Anyway, it’s all done. My worst novel to date.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Since it’s Sunday, I figured Sabor y Cultura was a good bet. Parking is always easier over there on Sundays because there’s no time limit. But I forgot about the Hollywood Christmas Parade. No parking on Hollywood Blvd. today. No matter, I found a spot in their parking lot instead of on the street.
To Date Summary:
This date in History:
Happily there was no recurrance of food poisoning either, which means a normal length writing session. I still need another long session to finish up my 50K, possibly two to bring the story to a close. I don’t really want to talk about where I’m at with the actual story, but I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how my characters might score some crack for their drug addicted travelmate. Luckily they know as little on the subject as I do and the fumbling around produces thousands of words and a very, very, very long and wordy argument.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
I was watching some documentary a year or so ago, I think it was about submarines. It was talking about hydrophones and sounds of the deep and mentioned this mysterious boing that no one could identify. They’d been hearing it on hydrophones all over the Pacific since they first started using them. They’d often suspected it was whales, but it’s really hard to prove such things.
Well, they finally figured it out. It’s minke whales. Probably male minke whales breeding. Making this boingy noise that reverberates across the whole ocean, to impress the lady whales, or at least tell them where they can find a good mate.
It’s a long weekend and it’s quite a nice feeling to have all the socializing and obligation out of the way and know that the rest of the weekend the tasks at hand are laundry and writing.
I set out for The Silverlake Coffee Company again, because it’s been serving me well. My nerve/muscle spasm problem with my left forearm seems to have dissipated, hopefully because I switched my mouse buttons on my laptop and of course I mouse lefty at work, too. I’m a little troubled by the ergonomics of The Silverlake Coffee Company because of the table height and I might revert to Sabor y Cultura again tomorrow.
I’m still behind targets, and at this point I think I’m going to have to take one evening next week to finish up, as I doubt I will even attempt a 14K day tomorrow. There’s no need for me to finish early this year, as I have no party to plan, just my journey to the homeland of NaNoWriMo, which will be on December 1st.
To Date Summary:
This Date in History:
The bulk of the text today took place in the past as I gave an account of how Daniel got the nickname Tragic at college. He leaves tomorrow for St. Louis. I really think he’s going to hit the road. Really.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
I had a dream last night with George Clooney in it.
It’s not what you think (unless you have an imagination as strange as my dreams).
I was at work. Not the place I work now, someplace with a long rambling building that was very white and bright and had lots of cubicles.
I was visited by Mr. Clooney, who said he was filling in at the HR department and that he wanted to talk to me about my 401k plans and any rollovers I might make should I change companies. We talked a bit about the options and he decided that I was handling my portfolio well and was happy to hear that I was taking full advantage of the company benefits pacakge.
Then I asked him why he was working for the HR department, and he said it was something he liked to do every once in a while. Then he gave me his card, which looked like something he fished out of the trash and was for a tire store. But he took it back and wrote in his real contact info and said, “I go by the name Lori, just so you know.”
He handed the card back to me, which I put in a drawer and then thanked him.
The dream went on. But that was the most interesting part. If you could call it that.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Since yesterday was reasonably successful, I ran some errands this morning (including going to the mall to get some See’s for a candy swap with a great Candy Blog reader in Israel) and then stopped back over at The Silverlake Coffee Company.
Since it was round lunchtime, I ordered a Turkey and Cranberry sandwich with Swiss cheese and a cup of the organic coffee. They apologized profusely that they needed to make a new pot of the organic and it would be about four minutes. Oh no! Really fresh coffee! How could I aruge with that?
I got down to business. I intended to make two sessions today, but now I’m totally wiped and am in the middle of spot treating one of the upholstered chairs before Thanksgiving company, so today’s tally will have to suffice. I still have next weekend and the most important thing is that I barrelled through the twenties because I really don’t like them much.
At some point I’m going to have to make up for the 5K weekend days with an additional 10K day or something. I’ll figure it out later.
To Date Summary:
This date in History:
I’m so close to getting the show on the road, literally. Maybe next weekend I can get my intrepid group to St. Louis. Or maybe get Hari arrested. Or maybe both.
I have to say that I’m proud of my writing pace this year. I’ve learned to enter my sessions with a full mind and at least a plan for what to do with the characters, some conflicts and unfolding the backstory. I was hoping to bring my novel in at 24 hours of writing time. But I should definitely be able to hit a 28 hour target.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
I’m in a serious funk lately. I know it doesn’t have anything to do with anything in particular, but it probably doesn’t help the novel much.
However, in true “write anyway” fashion, I did get something accomplished today (besides my final wrimo radio interview). I might celebrate with a trip to See’s. Or maybe I’ll console myself with a trip to See’s.
Today I decided to steer clear of Sabor y Cultura, even though I don’t think they’re responsible for my upset tummy last week. Instead I stuck to my own neighborhood and gave The Silverlake Coffee Company another try after boycotting them for two years. I was pleased to see that there were happy writing campers there (the tables against the wall were coated with laptopped folks) so I found a little table tucked next to the milk & sugar station across from the espresso machine. They were playing music, but I didn’t mind, as it was The Who’s Tommy (the original band version, not the soundtrack to the Rock Opera or movie version).
I started with a cup of organic coffee and the much heralded Espresso Banana Smoothie, which was thankfully not too sweet. Then later I had a bagel & cream cheese and several ibuprofen and a fill up of coffee.
To Date Summary:
This date in History:
I feel like I should probably have continued writing today, but I’m not that far off-pace and maybe I can get another 6 or 7K tomorrow to get me back on track for the big push next weekend. I still get the feeling that the novel is supposed to be about 75K as I’m a few scant words from the midpoint and still not out of the city for the supposed road-trip that this novel is supposed to be about. But hey, maybe it’s not supposed to be about the road trip at all.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Today was another day of not much writing getting done. I’m way behind even my modest targets.
My intention was to go over to the Farmers Market for the afternoon, write either at the book store there or at the Farmers Market itself and then catch up with some other food bloggers at 5PM at La Loteria.
Well, things didn’t quite work out. My battery has been acting up, so I needed to plug in but couldn’t find a spot. And my tummy’s still a little unhappy from yesterday, so the smells were not helping.
I ditched the place and headed towards Rocktitlan on Fountain and Wilton in hopes that I could catch a few thousand words there and then head back to my early dinner thing. No such luck. They were closed, perhaps for good?
I then went all the way back to Silverlake and got some nice soothing eggs and toast and sat down to get productive. And I was. For about 45 minutes, until it was pointed out to me that The Coffee Table no longer offers electricity to its patrons. ALL of the outlets inside and on the back patio are inoperative (apparently as a choice, not bad wiring).
So, I packed up, went to Trader Joe’s to get some consolation candy and came home. Probably a good plan as the tummy is still unhappy but I’m sad I’m missing the blogger thing.
Here’s the specs for the current session:
This day in history:
Maybe I’ll try to write some more now.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
I had high hopes of 6K or 7K today. Plenty of time, lots of thoughts as I’ve had all week to build up a whole session’s worth of writing.
Unfortunately, somwhere along the way I ingested some sort of powerful, um, food poison or something. So the session only lasted two hours or so. But productive ones.
Anyway, the novel is still stuck in Pittsburgh. But I did a lot to get things on the road and I think my MC might get this novel on the road. He leaves “on Saturday” and I know that the novel is on either Wednesday or Thursday.
To Date Summary:
This day in history:
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Today I went back to Sabor y Cultura in Hollywood. Parking was a little easier, as it was Sunday and all street parking is free. It also happens that the little lot behind the building has free spots on Sunday that are available if you ask.
The plot is progressing, though today’s chapter seemed a bit slow and involved a little too much setup. I suppose it’s all stuff that’s relevant to later stuff. I also spent a little time fixing stuff earlier in the novel so that I could insert new stuff. I only added word count, though of course it makes things go slower. This explains my slow start for the first half hour.
I found a better table today, too. The one I was working on yesterday was a little small, wobbled and a little high, which mean that my arms were at an awkward angle. When working hours at a time, ergonomics are kind of important. I had another Mexican mocha. They were out of croissants so I had an unsatisfying slice of Manhattan cheesecake.
32.87 words per minute average
At this rate, I’m on track to hit 50K in 19.15 hours more of writing sessions.
On this date in history:
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Today I went to Sabor y Cultura. I got there a little before 11 AM and found a nice tiny table along the wall and plugged in.
I had a plain croissant and a large Mexican mocha (spiced hot chocolate with a shot of espresso).
I got a lot accomplished. I started the novel with a bang. Actually, it started with a house fire where my MC (Daniel) loses pretty much everything he owns. I also managed to get my main plot arc started by the 5K mark with my MC (Daniel) being told by his boss that he has to make a Christmas wish come true for an essay contest winner.
190.00 minutes total
In case you don’t want to take a glance further down the page, this day in history:
So, better than last year, but nowhere near that sophmore slump of the 2002! Tomorrow I’m going to try for about the same. 13,000 a weekend should allow me to cruise into the end of the month in style (who knows, maybe I’ll write an extra long novel this year).
Friday, November 04, 2005
I know, I’m a bad example.
But I swear I’ll be caught up by the end of the weekend with the writing.
I’m hoping to do 5K tomorrow.
Also, expect some wonkiness with the blog. It’s moving.
You can go ahead and remember this url: http://www.typetive.com/fastfiction. That’s where you’ll find me soon.
Not now. There’s nothing there now. But soon.
During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.