Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekend Roundup

There's this odd drawing of breath that feels deeper, less pressed, less like it's being gasped between pit stops in my life. With the weight of National Novel Writing Month behind me and victory staring at me from a 5x7 certificate, it seems like the expectations are loosed and I'm free to do whatever I damned well please with the rest of my life, from here on out. Until next November, anyway.
In the light of a Monday morning the next thing I damned well please should probably be cat boxes, Christmas shopping and my homework for school. And cooking dinner and making lunches and doing all sorts of wonderful every-day boring things.
Ironically, even as I type this I find myself checking for any place where I can increase my word count by splitting words up and removing hyphens. It will be funny to see at what point that ingrained behavior drops off.

I have spent the past half hour looking up people struggling with their NaNoWriMo saga on Twitter and sending them notes of encouragement in the hopes that it spurs them on to complete the seemingly impossible. Or if not that, then at least that someone in the universe understands and feels for them even if they don't pull it off. I know the unexpected messages I got from people on Twitter offering tips, websites or encouragement were wonderful brief moments of contact. These were people that sat down in front of a blank canvas and did their damnedest to throw 50,000 words out in to the world that sort of formed a rough approximation of a story. We had a kything for the type of irritation and exhilaration that comes from it. I was more than a little surprised that Twitter came in useful this way. Occasionally social networking actually does what it sets out to do and connects people. :)

Thanksgiving was a wonder of planning and family and happiness to be home with people we'd missed and cared about. Bob and I spent it on a whirlwind 3 days of road tripping, usually with McGruntypants in the back seat trying to behave himself and not heave his doggie dinner all over the seat. He's 1 for 2 on that, btw.
Thursday, aka Thanksgiving proper, we traveled up to my Dad's and spent the afternoon there with Pat's boys, their wives, and their offspring along with Nick and Sean. The children all proceeded to swarm and play with Zen, who in proper doggy fashion played until he collapsed happily on the carpet, occasionally getting up the energy to rise again for a few pounces before lying down once more. He was even well behaved while sitting around the table, hooked to the chair by his leash. For being so good, he got turkey and peas and some biscuit.
It was good to chat with Dad and Pat, and to take a moment to set up a date in the future to go hang out (even if it's tentative). I'm hoping we get together to run around Longwood Gardens. I know he would enjoy it and I want the opportunity to take some photos with my Holga. OR... my Diana, actually! Would love to see what came of it. Maybe a shoot-off there, ooooo... that would be so much fun! Zen played with all of the kids while there and passed out, overjoyed and exhausted on the way home.
Thanksgiving at Bob's folks' house was nice. We chatted and had leftovers that were made in to patty form and then pan fried, which is something superly awesome I wish I could do with left over mashed potatoes but have never quite mastered.
Saturday was the road trip to Mom's wherein Zen politely barfed in the far corner on the towel so it was easy to clean out of the car. How he barfed food he ate 6 hours ago, I don't know, but he managed it. Talented pup.
We got to chat a bit with Mom before the Eibinettes descended and brought their dog Delilah with them. It was a fun time. Lots of food was made and we watched old home movies of Julian and his kids. Cody was his grumpy self, and I got to pet him to assure him that all the hyper younger dogs would be leaving soon.
For the record, I have discovered that Julian had hair like Neil Gaiman, and it freaked me out.
Delilah and Zen played to the point of passing out asleep near the table again, and we enjoyed waaay too much fun and conversation and food. By the time dessert showed up we were all VERY full and all smiling. It was nice to be able to connect and reconnect and meet some new faces.
Mom sent us home with a big stack of leftovers (thankfully, for we had none and had returned home twice already to a house with no food in it because we'd had Thanksgiving elsewhere... doh).
The rest of the weekend was spent with me catching up on NaNoWriMo and watching Zen systematically destroy any of his soft toys. We took a lovely long walk and talked about what was to come, and I finished my 50,000 words and then some (feeling slightly dirty that the last 5,000 were a ginormous sex scene that will probably be cut out because, well... my Mom and Dad might want to read it some day.) Celebration of this was promptly undertaken as we went to Applebees for nachos, drinks and dessert. Bob finished up a tough bit of coding at the same time, so we had our dual victory dances rockin', it was a rather splendid confluence of events.
The Diana F+ glow is on its way now, and I find myself ~wanting~ to return to the realm of Alice the clockwork girl and a world that must hide its technology to survive. I loved the story. So maybe in a month when I've hit equilibrium -or unemployment- I'll take it on again.
For having a 4 day weekend, there was remarkably little time to actually rest. I'm hoping to remedy that with Christmas coming up!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

NaNoWriMo Final Count - 11/29

My final count and official verification was this evening at 8:30 and rung up at 51,576 words.
I have surpassed the 50k word count for the month and done it a full day early, something I've never managed before. It is nothing short of hyper-actively exciting to me to have accomplished this.
Today alone I wrote 11,344 words of fiction in between 1 pm and 8:30 pm, taking a break around 6 pm to walk the dog for 45 minutes. There was a 5 minute break to make dinner after we got back from the walk. After the math was all said and done, it turned out that I wrote somewhere around 1500 words an hour, and I officially gauged myself as being able to crank out 1000 words every 30 minutes with a pause to go get water and play with the dog.
I will be printing up the certificate in the next day or two and getting another frame to put it in, and I will be proudly hanging it next to my winning certificates from 2007 and 2008. I feel immensely good right now, like I could just go out and do anything. That anything should probably be my schoolwork at this point.
Interestingly, the story has only begun. If I had to gauge I would say I've only written the first fifth or so based on story progression and what I'm trying to tell in my head. So this begs the question of whether or not I continue and edit it, or let it drop.
This is the first story I've created that I've actually felt has potential. I think I may return to it during down times to write over the next few months, and I might even edit it and make a proof from it. I didn't bother last year because I felt it was so horrible. It's very different this year.
Every year I choose something to reward myself with for being willing to forgo most social situations, physical interaction with my family and husband, and even a bit of personal hygiene to some extent. It's a way of rewarding myself for buckling down and taking on a personal goal, which I then achieve with (so far) resounding success.
This year's was the Diana F+ Glow, and Bob told me to go ahead and snag it with funds from our dual-checking account so it would arrive faster. He knows how much I've been wanting it and how excited I am about it. The man is wonderful.
It's strange to suddenly have no more self-imposed duress in the form of a goal to write. It seems like such a short time ago that I opened up a blank Word document and started to write, as well. So funny how much difference a month can make in a life. I hope I can carry this new-found wisdom with me in to the months ahead when I try to make more small changes in my life.
Hello, December. I am for you. Let's rock this.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bento Escapades, vol. 2

Just wanted to include a shot of the latest bento attempt, put together on Tuesday. I love making these things SO much! And Bob has even officially sanctioned my new hobby of construction food art for the purpose of consumption.
Firstly, here is my latest construction for him:
There are a lot of things going on here. He has cantaloupe on skewers, kiwi fruits cut out in sakura blossom shapes, Star fruit marinated in orange juice lining the back, carrots, a cup of edamame hummus for dipping stuff in, broccoli with some nori furikake seasoning sprinkled over it, a container of Greek yogurt with honey, and a small side salad consisting of couscous, feta, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. I was damned proud of this setup. You can see the use of my new furikake seasonings and the blue silicon cup for holding sauces (at least until I get sauce and mayo containers)

Then I made my own. And was equally proud of it:
It consists of virtually the exact same things but with a few differences. First, it's in my official Okinawan Hello Kitty bento box. Secondly, I have no broccoli or star fruit but I do have more kiwi fruit. Thirdly there is a little silicone heart-cup filled with asiago and artichoke spread for dipping the carrots in to. And finally, you can see that my cantoloupe was impaled on picks with adorable little animal heads and off to the side for the very slippery kiwi fruit I included a bunny-topped plastic pick-fork. I gave myself the same salad, and I tossed in a clementine orange to eat with everything else.
Every time I do this I am incredibly excited about it, I love how it turns out, and I think of new creative ways to work with what I've got, along with what I'd need to pull things off in the future.
Tonight I went out and purchased what are called oshibori or small cloths that are used while hot to wash ones hands before and after a meal. At some of the more authentic Japanese restaurants and sushi bars, you've probably received these. I also grabbed a few bento boxes specifically for hauling onigiri triangles around. They're so disgustingly easy to make that I decided they would be a good default lunch staple. I can't wait to make some up for Bob.
And just to confirm that I am a complete addict and do not intend at any point in the future to give up my habit, I bought a craft supplies box with lots of small boxes and drawers to store things like food picks and forks and sauce containers and cookie cutters. I'm hoping to consolidate all of it somewhere that will be easy to get to and not take up a ton of valuable shelf space.
One final thought before hitting the hay, I have discovered a website called BentoTV, which has several hundred short videos about setting up, storing, cooking and separating food for your bento. The host is the cutest person I have ever seen, and I say this with no exaggeration. Her voice and demeanor are adorable. I'm sure she capitalizes on this, in fact. It's a wonderful website, though, and I intend to go back to it for more tips and tricks on how to do this stuff.
I love creating food artz. I can't wait until I've got everything I need to set it up properly and move forward! There's something almost meditative about choosing foods based on taste, texture, health, and color... then setting that off by picking a theme or choosing a way to arrange the food that looks attractive. Those Japanese, you must love their dedication to being complicated in their simplification of things!
In the near future I am looking forward to the arrival of several new bento boxes, some furoshiki (the cloths you use to create a "bag" for the meal so its easy to carry) and a few final tools to round everything out. To the left here is Bob's new light blue furoshiki and the Hello Kitty bag I bought to contain my Hello Kitty bento box. The furoshiki is tied in a traditional manner, but looks like a huge lump because I was trying to balance tupperware, a short dish, and a weirdly shaped yogurt container. Normally it would look a lot more streamlined.
I'm exhausted. There will be more about Thanksgiving tomorrow. Adieu, world! Bon soir!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NaNoWriMo total for 11/25

Final word count for today was 38,226. The official total was 41,667. That's right, we are less than 4,000 words away from being caught up.

I fully expect to surpass this over the holiday and probably hit 50,000 2 days early, which would be a new record for me. I'm usually waiting until 10 pm the night of to do my winning. It'll be a nice change.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FINAL NaNoWriMo total for 11/24

I hit 32,000 at midnight. So. Much. Awesome.

I'm really proud that I'm accomplishing my goals as I'm setting them. This means I will not fail to meet my goal for 50k!

For the record, I literally hit 32,000 at the end of a sentence. And this was the sentence:
"One would eventually be a crimson Masdevalia, with pointed petals reminiscent of old monster tales and vampire’s teeth."
Ii love writing. I really should do it more often.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NaNoWriMo word count for 11/24

I'm at 30,219 words currently. And damned proud of it. I'm going to see if I can finish up 32,000 before the night's done. If I hit 32,000 early, I'll shoot for 35,000. Definitely coming easier right now. Also, once again proving to be altogether too short a goal to accurately bang out the entire story. This might be one of those half-written attempts I never get back to, but I'm enjoying seeing it come to life for now.
Less than 9,900 words behind now!

NaNoWriMo word count for 11/23

Current word count is 26,946.

I have hit that "bored and trying to just get the story moving along" phase, which means a break away from my usual prose to whip up phrases like the following:

"Ashera took to arc welding with some crazy ass motherfucking abandon, and Scott did his best not to get caught coercing cat’s brains encased in a half ton of steel and the latest in computer and bio-technology to perform loop de loops. It was pretty epic."

And you know what.... that right there? THAT is pretty epic.
Why yes, we have also devolved in to utter silliness because that's what it's taking at this point. At least I'm laughing.

Official word count for today? 40,000. I'm aiming for 30,000 before bed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lomo Luv pt., uh, 9 and 3/4.

A few of you might remember that I lamented the seeming disappearance of the girliest lomography camera on the planet (of which I can't find a decent image or web page on to save my life now, so just go with me here.)
Oh wait, I stole a picture. Here. This thing:
It has reappeared on the internets. I have never been happier in my LIFE to see a giant hunk of pink plastic.

This WILL Be mine.

**edit** - Totally snagged it off eBay. Can't wait to see it in person! In 10-15 days after shipping via international air mail. *sigh* Cuz it's coming from Korea.

NaNoWriMo word count for 11/22

26,127 words and a panic-run to Wawa for an ice-cream-and-cookie sandwich, followed by some tea. But it got me to crank out 4,360 words of English, so perhaps it was not really as silly and self-indulgent as I now think it to be.
Either way, there's still a bag of Doritos at home on the counter and I swear by the unholy gods that I will decimate whoever thinks they will open it before I do. Why? Because it is writer fuel the way they have gamer fuel, which is generally acknowledged to be utter shite in the eyes of a community that loves to laugh when people try to market things to them. However, in the interest of full disclosure, yours truly DID try the Halo 3 gamer fuel and can actually recall the bizarre and somewhat astringent aftertaste the soda left in her mouth even to this day. Gamers need Mt. Dew or equally high levels of caffeine to keep their twitch-reflexes going for epic knife kills in MW2 or whatever else the cop-op kiddies are playing these days; writers need access to things that taste good but are mind-numbingly easy to consume, and usually involve sticking your hand in a bag up to the elbow to obtain so that you at least get the occasional external stimuli of a bag rustling to keep you connected with the outside world.
Which now makes me realize there is a flaw in my plan, since I'll be attempting to type while constantly reapplying Dorito-cheese dust to my fingers and potentially my laptop keyboard. This is rather uncool. I'm going to have to a damp cloth nearby while stuffing my face, I guess. Unless I want an orange keyboard.
Back to writing, though.
I have officially leapt over the halfway point and am hoping to spend the rest of this week catching up in small batches. I procrastinate, aye, and this is my biggest issue most times. But I really think that I can pull this one out, as I always do, at the last minute.
Today's official goal to shoot for is 38,333.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Greyhounds in Need of Help

It's an ugly little secret that once greyhounds are done running, they're considered to be "useless". While not so many are euthanized as they once were, they are still considered to be a nuisance at the end of their careers. Hence why there are so damned many greyhound adopting services out there, which is a damned shame.

Greyhounds make awesome pets, being big, lazy and calm. They rarely bark and have been proven to be excellent with children. With all that in mind, you would think more people would adopt them and let them grow to old age somewhere with a soft sofa and a bowl of food.

Sound like a public service announcement? That's because it is. You see, the Dairyland Greyhound race track in Kenosha, WI has decided to close its doors, putting several hundred greyhounds out in the cold. I've seen estimates of everything from 300 to 900 animals in need of help, foster homes, and people willing to adopt them.
Want to read more? Clicky you right here. Or for a bit more info on how to help out, you can check out the original Craigslist add right here.

I love greyhounds and have ever since I saw my first few rescue hounds at the PA Ren Faire, where they have a permanent booth. They're gorgeous animals and have about them a stately aura the likes of which you just don't see outside of medieval tapestries.
You don't know it, but you have wanted to have a greyhound all your life. Even if your idea of a good dog is a Pomeranian or a Doberman, you'll get along smashingly with your new adopted friend.

Don't let a business decision kill several hundred animals. Make Christmas awesome for them, too.

My deepest, most heartfelt thanks to any and all who help out, even if it's only by spreading the word.

I has a s-m-r-t b-o-o-k.

Courtesy of an uberly awesome website that was brought to my attention via the NaNoWriMo Procrastination Station, I was able to input my novel and have it review the text. Using some strange arcane dowsing it could then tell you based on several different tests it ran just how hard to read your novel was. Or rather, what level of education you would need your reader to have before they could grasp what the hell you were talking about.
On average you would want around a 6 to an 8 on the Gunning-Fox Index, wherein it suggests the education level of the individual that could read and appreciate it.(The exact definition is: "Indication of the number of years of formal education that a person requires in order to easily understand the text on the first reading.") A 5's not bad. An 11 means that you're writing for the Wall Street Journal. A 20 or more means you're a government website, although I'm thinking probably that was a joke thrown in by the author. So for the sake of finding out if my work was as simplistic as I thought it was, I tossed the portion I had with me in to the generator and let it run.
Seven seconds later it spat out a wash of numbers at me. And I was really very surprised. For you see, I rated a 10.11 on the Gunning-Fox Index. Further review showed that using something called the Flesh Kincaid Grade level, I rated an 8.42. So basically what it's saying is a really smart 8th grader could grasp this, or someone with 10 years of education.
Considering the books that I was reading when I was in 8th grade, I'm a bit astonished and I'm wondering now if I haven't over written the book a bit. Perhaps there's too much jargon and now it's too difficult to read for the average person? But at the same time I really, really wanted this to be a high concept piece, something where I fleshed out the whole world and all of its marvelous achievements, along with the sudden stop enforced on them, like humanity and its technology hit a wall at 75 miles an hour, recoiled, then realized they needed the very wall they hit to stay safe and only dared peek around it briefly to make sure the boogeyman was not on the other side. THAT is the world I want to portray. And you know... maybe I have. It's not even fully created yet, there are only 30 pages to this dream. It'll all have out in the editing and finishing anyway.

But yeah, I'm proud of my 30+ pages so far. It r SMRT. ^_^

NaNoWriMo total for 11/18

Managed to break 20k with a total of 20,672. Yeehaw!

Official total for the day was 30,000.

I do now feel like I can catch up. Got my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NaNoWriMo total for 11/17

Word count was 17,507. Going to write more tonight and try to break the 20,000 mark.
Official goal for today is 30,000. At least I'm more than halfway.

Bento Escapades, vol. # 1 -addendum.

Bob's lunch:

Composed of baby bok choy for dipping in the edamame hummus. Also for the hummus was a single whole-wheat mini pita cut in to quarters and artfully arranged. A collection of seedless green grapes and two cherry tomatoes on a sword-shaped pick (Yarrr!) finished up the main portion.
To make sure he had enough fruit there was a salad of strawberries and pineapple over which I layered three slices of star fruit/carambola that had been marinated in orange juice. To make sure he had enough dairy and protein, the green yogurt with honey was added.
I'm told it was all very awesome. I'm rather proud of this arrangement and hope to put together more like it in the near future. It was a lot of fun dropping a variety of items in there like that!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bento Escapades volume #1

Well, I tried yesterday to put together something that was bento-esque for Bob, but really it didn't come together too well. So last night I went all out and decided to make do with what I had, fashioning two bento meals. One more masculine and arranged, artfully done and with lots of very healthy things. And then there was mine. And you KNOW... you know... that I used the bento box I got from the trip to Japan. Oh yes you do.

The left side is a giant strawberry backed by two slices of carambola that I'd had resting in orange juice to keep them from oxidizing. For those not familiar with the term carambola; it's also called star fruit. The whole thing is decorated by some frisee lettuce that is also edible and I later found a way to utilize quite nicely.
The right hand side had edamame hummus with 4 cherry tomatoes and a small army of pearlini mozzarella balls.
Mom was nice enough to surprise me with a set of Hello Kitty snack bags that worked well carrying over the theme and held 2 whole wheat mini-pitas, torn in half to make 4 pieces. I also had a clementine orange that I was counting as "dessert" mostly because I forgot to grab some of my growing collection of Japanese candy to put in there.
I had originally intended to just scoop up the hummus with the pita halves and eat it that way, but I quickly realized that I would be missing out on a major opportunity. I could split open those mini pitas and load them up, and I would have four sandwiches of cute and adorable stature.
So I did it. Thusly.

Do you dig that sparkly font as much as I do? I thought it was the only way to really convey how epic the entire experience was, the dawning realization, etc.
It was cute, it was fun putting my own meal together, and I loved that it was all vegetarian and all healthy for me! I got to try star fruit, which I'd never had before, and eat a meal that was 80% vegetables.
I will post Bob's illustrious concoction later, as those were taken with the digital camera and I was too forgetful to upload them. Needless to say, I'm rather proud of all of these, and am now firmly in the camp of "people who take pictures of their lunch" as they are sometimes mocked online.
All you haters out there can bite me. This was FUN. FUN! Anything that can make preparing and eating it fun is totally worth it.
Just wait until you see my Jizo eggs and my recreation of Fushimi Inari out of carrot sticks. No. I'm not kidding. It will happen.

Monday, November 16, 2009

NaNoWriMo total for 11/16

16,576 words.

Resident Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Holy fardlin' sea dogs and shanties... this is awesome. It's amazing what fans can do when they love something so much! Ironicially I think this was actually longer than the original Dr. Horrible.
I so hope they make this canon. :D

Horrible Turn from Horrible Turn on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaNoWriMo total for 11/15

Wordcount as of 1 AM Friday night/Saturday morning was 13,313. As of 11:20 PM tonight it was 14,316.
Going to bed when I hit 15,000. :)
(Today's "official" total is 25,000.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

My NaNoWriMo Novel Picture

There's this awesome website out on the net that will take a website or a block o' text and converts it in to a visual based on the number of times certain words are used. It had different fonts, colors and backgrounds to use and you could customize if you wanted. I thought it was an awesome idea, myself.
So awesome, that I decided to turn all 17 pages of my novel currently in existence in to one. This is what my story looks like right now:

You can click it if you wanna see more in depth. Don't worry, there are no spoilers. :)

NaNoWriMo word count for 11/13

At this moment sitting at 9,245 words. Official required word count for the day is 21,667. Quite alright, almost halfway there and gaining. I intend to cross the halfway mark when I get home this evening and throw down another 2500 words.
In order to recover I'm going to have to have a handful of 5,000 word days, but I think I can do it.

There's a special surprise coming to egg me on, and I've promised myself a Diana f+ Glow should I cross the finish line. If I don't, I'll have failed and let everyone down who was excited for me. That can't happen.
Also, I still think the story is worth writing. This one might actually be worth cleaning up and attempting to publish. I think that is what I'll do with my time unemployed, in fact.

Only 40,755 words to go.

**update -10,097 words as of 4:05 pm. Yay!**

**final update - 11,667 words as of midnight. I am now only 10,000 words behind the total for the day. It feels like I might catch up!**

Like another hole in the head...

I have really done it now. I went and got myself another hobby in the middle of the tens of hundreds I already have (we may be able to say tens of thousands at this point, actually.) You see, I am often frustrated with throwing together a lunch and having it look like sloppy muck when I reheat it. With everything going on, Bob and I are both crazy-busy, and having something organized to eat would be nice.
So I did a bit of research and quickly determined that not only could bento be adorable, but it could also satisfy that part of me that always wondered "hey, is it possible to make a lunch that is both healthy AND face-meltingly adorable?"
The answer is yes. I give you exhibit A:

Now when you look at it, your first thought is well, awesome, it's Xmas themed and that's great for the holidays. Except it isn't. It's actually just an every day thing that people in Japan do. As you get older it's a little more stately, but when you're young Japanese moms tend to go all out to decorate lunches like their favorite cartoon characters or for seasonal things. I have seen some of the most gorgeous stuff in the world that would be an utter crime to eat.
So for this reason I'm collecting multiple tiny items for the purpose of making food art that will get us excited about eating vegetarian. I will apply my great artz and mad skillz to the creation of visual feasts of animal kindness, all inside tiny tupper wear containers taken to work each day. And it will make sure we have enough, that it's healthy, and that I'm poking my former blood-sugar issue in the eye with a stick each time I get to eat something shaped like Hello Kitty.
God help us with the cute explosion that's about to occur. God help us all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Actual Conversation #81 - The importance of proper lunch sacks re:coworker interaction

me: I would like to officially retire the purple lunch bag.
It's torn on the inside and smells rather....unique.
gru: Okay, do we need a salute of some kind or just stage some sort of 'accident'
me: Stage an accident? We have a dog.
gru: Ah yes
me: *laugh*
It was a good bag, but really it's not insulating that well anymore and I worry about food warming up.
I appreciate you letting me use it.
gru: Okay, hurl it out and we'd get a new one, or you can use the other one. Since I'm driving back and forth I'm not using it. But, you deserve a clean new bag if you want.
me: I will do research.
Then we will banish the demon bag from our house.
gru: nods That sounds reasonable
(redacted for wandering off topic to Paranormal Reality and any possible innate canine abilities to thwart evil by purely being cute.)
me: *SQUEE*
gru: *laughs* It had to exist
me: Oh wait...fuck that. THIS is it:
gru: Wow, that is indeed a righteous lunch bag
me: It comes with a thermos!!
gru: Score!
me: I could drink my juice from that!
gru: Yup!! or bring soup
Honestly I just figure if it was Hello Kitty nobody would steal it, or if they did it would be pretty obvious.
But... wow. Yeah. Even at a new workplace the Mystery Machine is noticeable.
It would be known immediately if that was ill-gotten.
gru: Yup, and if it was, it could investigate its own disappearance
me: LMAO!!!!!! XD
gru: :-)

Monday, November 9, 2009

NaNoWriMo total for 11/8

6,937 words (most of that written today between 10 am and now).

Today's scheduled total - 13,333. I am over halfway to the total.

I intend to have a few 3,000 word days to make up for the gap. Tomorrow is supposed to be a 15,000 word total. Such a nice round number, I'm sorry I won't be able to reach it on schedule!

Really enjoying the story so far. The Fox Yip Hat is really doing the trick. I plop it on the head and it immediately signals to my brain that it's time to write!

I'm freepin' exhausted. Time to sleep. 43,063 words to go.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NaNoWriMo word count for 11/3

1,667 words per day minimum to reach the goal and I am currently already 2 days behind (3,333 words). In order to be considered up to speed I would need 5,000 words by midnight tonight.

I have a good story idea. So far 2,024 words. This seems like a good start to me.

47,976 words to go.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Clearing out the attic.

A quick summary of The State of Things In My Skull:

~Zen is probably a boxer. I love this, because of all the dogs in the world, I decided I did NOT want a boxer because they are so bulky. The Universe, in typical fashion, deemed that I don't get to set such limits on my own existence. In an effort to keep me free-flowing and unjudgemental it brought Zen in to our lives. I love him dearly, pray he won't get the severe end of the ridiculous pugged noses found in the species, and don't give a damn that he is at this point. I have often thought the puppy would be my teacher concerning Buddhist principals and his mere presence in our life starts out in this tradition. Zen-sama, I welcome you and await your further wisdom.

~I didn't have a story to write for NaNoWriMo this year and was getting antsy. Redoing last year's story felt like cheating, as did laying down anything I'd thought about prior to November. For me, National Novel Writing Month was about the act of pure creation from the void, having no plans and no pre-conceived notions. Even as I acknowledged that this is what I wanted, I felt like I was possibly being too harsh on myself for thinking to redo old stories, or ones awaiting birth. It isn't like I'll sully this grand tradition by not doing it how I did before. It's only my third year of doing it, pretending there is any pattern that might be irreparably destroyed is me just fooling myself.
I get a kick out of the pure rush of coming up with something that didn't exist and that hasn't been living on borrowed brain-space for months. It feels cathartic, astringent, and generally freeing. It needs to happen, and maybe I need to taste failure this time around. I need to understand that the perfect version will NEVER be written the first time, and last year went a long way to do it. I hated the main story and loved my secondary characters. In fact, if I can ever talk myself in to making the time, I want to sit down and revisit the secondary characters. That will require an entire rewrite of the story. A second draft. And I am not flipping out about it for the first time in my life.
All that aside, I had invested quite a bit of angst and energy in to all of these thoughts without even having a story yet. I spent all last night in the Cat Hat of Inspiration (wondering if the Fox Yip Hat of Inspiration might do a better job) and nothing came to me. I sat wondering dolefully if this might be a week that went without a story idea, or if I gave up and wrote a story pre-conceived in my head, beating myself up the entire time for it. I was even dwelling on that as I drove to work today, and found myself coming to a complete stop in the middle of a residential street so a cat with a single white paw could cross in front of me safely without being hit. He was young, only 6 months, and grey with black stripes. And in that moment of watching him cross and seeing him turn back to stare at me, I got my story idea. It seems so silly to go through all of that now, but perhaps it was necessary so I could be at my wit's end when the cat crossed? Who will ever know. Either way, I intend to sit down tonight and write my 3,400 words to catch up.

~I sometimes worry that with each day I do not do zazen or yoga I am losing more and more control over my body and my mind. Some day I will be old, ill and senile and just beg the nurses to let me sit and breathe, as I could not do it properly yet...such a scene. Yeesh.

~I was ready to give up on Heroes based on the really crappy first few episodes of the season. I wanted to, almost, as there were so many good shows and my TV viewing schedule was getting ridiculous. Heroes had hurt me in the past and I wanted to just write it off once and for all as something capable of greatness that just never fully materialized.
But then we watched an episode we'd recorded, the one I was going to use as the final axe-blow to justify ignoring it forever....and god damnit, it was good! Then Bob mentioned that a recent article had said the last 2 (the 2 we'd had to DVR and hadn't seen when they broadcast) were actually very good. GRR... okay, so maybe I'll finish watching what's recorded, catch up, and go from there...

~I miss Japan. I get a wicked case of ennui any time I recognize something from there, and I want to go back really really badly. But I also want a house with a yard for Zen-dy to run in. Unless the lottery is won in the future, I don't see the two happening anywhere near one another. Perhaps I should just suck it up and sally forth. It's just that it's been bothering me a lot lately. It reminds me of how I used to feel sad about Seattle, except I've never liked in Tokyo and I barely speak or read the language. I don't know how to remedy it, and it only shows up when I see something that reminds me of the trip. Perhaps I should just travel somewhere else that's closer and switch my ennui to that where it'll be more convenient to dream of.

~We have tickets to Pax East. I am hella excited. Something about having plans again for the future that are beyond calculating when the puppy last went outside makes me feel like there will be more to life. So much for living in the moment. On the other hand, it's nice to know there'll be a tomorrow, and that this tomorrow will involve awesome video game goodness in a city that my beloved knows and that I've come to love parts of with him. I look forward to geeking out, but also to weaving a new story with him in Boston amid the places of his youth.

~I want to paint. I want to draw. I have too many projects going. 5 months until school is completed. After that I can do whatever I want with my evenings and weekends. Nothing will be clean, but everything will be creative!

~I'm craving veggie burgers. Something seems odd about that, but I don't care because they're delicious. I'm also craving spinach, bell peppers, and portabella mushrooms in a good cream sauce. Praise Italian, Indian and Chinese food for making our lives easier during the switch over to vegetarianism!

~Halloween didn't feel like Halloween. Maybe it was the road trip that ate up most of the day to NJ. Maybe it was because everything was so hectic I didn't get to really decorate anything. Maybe it was the fact that I didn't put on a costume, or get to watch my traditional scary movies this year (The original Halloween and Nightmare Before Christmas being foremost). Halloween evening felt weird. I loved handing out candies. Zen escorted me to the door and hung out as costumed kids came and went. But somehow it just didn't feel like Halloween. And now it's November 2nd, All Saint's Day has even passed, and it's another 364 days until we do this again. I am a bit depressed, but I also enjoyed what ~did~ happen in all the confusion. I just hope next year I get a chance to go all-out again. Maybe even have a Halloween party that friends attend. I think part of this year was remembering last year's fruitless Lovecraft Party. I'm still bummed even a year later. Perhaps we need to work on letting go of the past a bit more.

~Can't wait to walk with Bob around Longwood Gardens for Christmas again. Also can't wait for a few family things coming up, but very glad they'll be spread apart so we (and Zen) get a chance to relax. We probably need to have fewer things occuring in November as a family unit, though.

~The autumn has been beautiful, and I will be sad to see it give way to the grey days of pre-winter. I'm hoping we have a beautiful snow-ridden season I can recall clearly following the blaze of colors that erupted. It would be nice to have a year fully recalled and behaving appropriately like in my childhood before the global warming bullshit struck.