Friday, November 30, 2007

how you like them apples?

I needed 3200. I wrote 10,000. Tonight.

I still have a bit more before I can officially tie it up, but if I had to, I could say it has an end and leave it where it is.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bad Stuff

Today, a fellow I know says he went home and asked his wife what was for dinner.

Her answer?


And that's what they had. It was not to his liking.

I then told him my recollection of tofu, so I'll tell it again (regurgitate, so to speak) here:


Tofu is the worst.

I've always been of an open mind to try new things, so when I was at my friend Dave Chao's house, I did try the tofu.

This was after his mother insisted, "No, you big-a boy. You eat sree pack!"
And she proceeded to fix me three entire packages of ramen noodles.

That time, I asked Dave what it was he was eating. With the blocky
white chunks of stuff. He said, "Bean curr." I said, "huh?" He
said, a little slower, "Bean Currrrrr. You try!"

It wasn't until the nanosecond before it was about to hit my tongue
that my brain finally miscombulated what he was saying.

"Bean Curd!" my brain said right as I bit down on it.

"Oh Holy Jesus, spit it out, spit it out!" my stomach said.

I swallowed the one bite.

Never again.

Friday, November 23, 2007

This just might work, after all


That's the word count as of right now.

Actually, it's the word count as of around 2 PM today, since I've been driving and visiting people since then.

At the start of Turkeyday, I had around 22K, maybe 23K. When I went to bed that night, I had just hit 35K.

In case you didn't already know it, that's a lot of writing.

In fact, that's even more writing than I did the night before my senior term paper was due. And that damned term paper probably took longer, too. The biggest spurt this time was a six hour stretch from about 9PM to 3AM sitting at the dining room table at my wife's grandma's house. I got up once to get a fresh glass of Dr. Pepper and some more cookies.

In that time, I hit a section of my story I intended to just kind of graze -- maybe mention for a paragraph or two. My thinking here was that I wanted the point of the story to lie elsewhere and to get there I would have to gloss over some historical bits. I also didn't want to go where that part of the story could take me. I didn't know if I could deal with it emotionally.

Starting Thursday morning, I had a bad feeling about where the story was going and I found myself being extremely cranky and irritable all day. I was also doing everything in my power to avoid working on the story, but the fact that I was cooped up in a farmhouse with four families, a toddler and an infant, and NO ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, meant I could only hold out for so long.

I kept dancing around it all day long. I would write a bit here and there, and I even wrote the two paragraph synopsis I had envisioned and went past, onto the next thing in the tale I was slowly unraveling.

But after all the visiting was done and everyone was completely stuffed to the gills and parked on a sofa or chair watching football or snoring, I sat down for what I knew would be a long haul. No matter where it took me, I knew I needed to hit 30,000 words if I had any hope of finishing this thing.

And I started writing. And I found I needed to change something I had already written. So I scrolled up to just before the part where I skimmed over a whole year in the story. And I fixed the problem. But I didn't scroll back down. I just kept writing. Everyone else drifted off to bed by ones and twos. I kept writing. When I noticed I was the only one still up, I checked my word count. It was over 32,000. I figured I could hit 35,000 before bed, so I started wrapping the section up.

The story I'm writing this time is very personal. It's only fiction in the sense that I changed the name of one character. I still doubt anyone will ever give a shit about reading it, but perhaps it's a good sign that the part of my story I wanted to skip used up over 10,000 words in and of itself.

That part, covering a single year of a boy's life, took more out of me than I could have ever imagined. Writing it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I'm not ashamed to say I cried through a lot of it. I dug up whole chunks of buried memory. They were fresh as the day I had buried them, and some of the things they showed me hurt just as much now as they did then.

This novel has taken a turn from what I had initially intended. It would probably be more accurate to say that it has followed a perfectly straight path and will miss the turn that I had intended. And that's fine with me. The other idea can live on until another story. For now, this one is being told exactly as it needs to be.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Word War, Baby

The widget is nicer than I am. It doesn't put your name up if you don't have any words.

dammit, dammit, sonofabitch


A few days ago I was VERY FAR AHEAD. I had a lot of padding in my word count.

Now I'm behind.

I haven't written for days, and not only did it catch up to me, but it blew right past me and I didn't even notice.

I'm a little less than a day behind now. By the end of today (the calendar day, not the one where I should already be in bed) I'm supposed to have over 20,000 words. This is not impossible, since the way things have been going I should be able to spew out a thousand or more in about an hour.

But I suspect sometime very soon I'm gonna hit a big ol' speedbump that's gonna knock my spew-rate way down.

Cuz I'll admit something here in print for the first time (tho I have voiced it to a few folks already...) The first part of my book is pretty much autobiographical. I changed the name of one character. Everyone else has their real name. I also changed the name of the the little suburban development where I grew up. I don't know why I changed that, or even why I didn't use my own name for the story character. It's not like anyone's ever going to read it, so it doesn't matter. But it feels right to me to do it this way.

And I really wouldn't be upset if somebody said to go and change all the real names to other names. So if I have to do that at some point, I can use a Find/Replace function. I've been thinking it would be fun to keep all the actual names of the people I knew when I was growing up but attach them to the wrong people. Then shit would get really confusing.

Anyhow, the fact that this story so far has been autobiographical has meant that I'm not really doing any hardcore story generation. I'm needing to think about pacing and structure and foreshadowing and character development -- all of which dictate what and where the story goes. But I've got a massive advantage in the fact that all of my characters and locations are already fully formed and just need to be ejected out of my head and onto the page.

If you've read my excerpt (which is the first few pages of the book minus a few later revisions) you'll know the main character is about to turn six years old at the beginning. The switcheroo, where it goes from "probably the most boring autobiographical shit ever written" to "this is the fiction part that never really happened" occurs when that same character is 19 years old. At 18,000 words in, he is 9 or 10. So I've got a ways to go, I think. Unless shit starts spiraling out of control in order to get to the end faster. But I don't see that happening. I'm starting to suspect this might be a two-parter and the first 50,000 words end up being entirely autobiographical. My own boring true-life story with (thus far) absolutley zero embellishment - just a clear focus on the real-life drama of grade school kids.

Maybe if I stop writing about it here, I can get my fucking word count in.

(See, just a few minutes and already over 550 words. Too bad they're not in the right place.)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Get your shit together.

Let's try some math:

13055/50000 = A whole lotta goddamn words in 3.5 days.

I'm truckin' on my novel. How about you?

GET GOING PEOPLE. YOU HAVEN'T GOT ALL MONTH. Oh. Well, maybe you do. But 3.5 days are gone already.

Have a link here to my Nano Profile where you can see my official unofficial word counter. You can also read some of the crap I'm writing if you go the EXCERPT tab.