Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Losing NaNo, Winning at Life

I thought I'd pop in for a bit while mooching some coffee shop wifi to let you know that I have "epic failed" NaNoWriMo. And yet, somehow, I still feel like a winner. I've only got 12,500 words of my new project (affectionately called Amnesia Girl), but that's 12,500 more words than I had on Oct. 31. And, there are still three and half more hours to go!

I think the first year of NaNo is a little like your first love. It's awkward, difficult, fun, scary, and more than a little complicated. This might not be my "one true" NaNo, but I will always look fondly back onto my first try. I'll remember the night we stayed up together laughing about nothing. I'll remember the angry fight where we both said things we didn't mean. We tried. We really did. Even until the end, neither of us was willing to give up, but we realized that our days were numbered. I wanted it to work, NaNo wanted it to work, but it wasn't in the cards.

Maybe we both need to mature a bit first. And if the stars align, we might even try again next year.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Life and Times of Elizabeth B.

It's been exactly a week since all of my stuff was crammed into boxes, shoved into the back of a van, and dumped into a house that is slightly smaller than my apartment. Life has been a bit like playing Tetris on Level 9 with the height set at 5. You want to make things fit, but you already have a messed up pile of junk that you have to clear about before you can even begin stacking. 

We've been working hard this week to unpack, and this weekend, everything has started to fall into place. The cats have emerged from under the bed and have laid claim to their new spots (the back of the couch and the chair in the bedroom) Our older kitty is having some "litter box issues," in that he has decided that he no longer has to use the litter box. I think the woman in the house before us had a cat, and my theory is he's trying to overpower the scent with his own mightier musk. I'm sure he'll sort it out, but until then I will continue to chase him around the house with paper towels. Is a 16 year old cat too old to train to use the toilet? I'd want him to flush too. And to change the roll when it's empty.

While things are definitely on the up and up, there was one terrible tragedy this week: we have no internet access at the house! *Collective gasp* I'm okay. I know this is shocking, but things like this happen to the best of us. I'll pull through, I'm sure of it. I'm just not sure of when. AT&T has been less than helpful. There solution is to charge us either $60 for a new modem or $80 for someone to come out to the house and tell us what's going on. The modem isn't the issue. It worked last week, and I can connect to its IP through my computer, and I'm not about to pay $80 for someone to tell me that. The landlord is out of town this weekend, but I shot him an e-mail. I'm hoping there's a trick having to do with the house. Like only one of the phone jacks works for internet. Cross your fingers. Until then, I'll have to organize the occasional trip to Borders to get caught up on e-mail and to update you!

Now that things are settled, it's time to get cracking on NaNo! I can do 40,000 words in three days, right?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Exhaustion setting in

Here are the facts:
My apartment is entirely packed, in preparation for this weekend's big move.
I can't find a pen.
I want to remember something that randomly popped into my head.
My blog is open.
I'm going to share it with you and give you a glimpse inside my mind:

"Robot food for technological thought."

I feel like we know each other better already! Sharing is caring!

I have no idea why that sentence ran through my mind, but for some reason I think I'd like to do something with it. My brain might be telling me to corner the market now, so that I'll be the biggest wholesale distributor of robot food in 50 years. Entrepreneurism! Or, maybe, I could use it as a prompt for a short story (after November is over).

If you have any suggestions, let me know!

Potential Robot Food?

As I was labeling this post, I realized that it is not my first about robots. There was also that song about Odysseus (aka Ulysses) and his small robot friend. Maybe somewhere in my subconscious working on my blog reminded me of that? I'm not sure we'll ever know for sure.

Daredevil Writing

I'm a nerd with a cat named Marvel and a near complete run of ROM, so you might be thinking this post is going to be a critical review of the 2003 Ben Affleck box office bomb (Gigli and Daredevil in one year, yeesh). But you'd be wrong. This is not a review of a craptacular movie, but if you were thinking about a blind lawyer in red spandex, you're only slightly off-base.
The Great Evel Knievel

Lately, I've been trying some new things, like NaNo and moving to a different neighborhood. And to get through it, I've been channeling my inner daredevil. Here's a few things I know. A daredevil has no fear. A daredevil is someone who laughs in the face of danger and doesn't listen to the little voice inside their head that tells them not to do something. A daredevil is willing to break a few bones to achieve something impossible.

NaNo is a lot like cliff jumping. You can see the start and you can see the finish line, but in between is a huge, empty crevasse. One you're expected to fill. So, for those of you out there doing NaNo with me (and hopefully doing better than my ~8000 words), rev that engine and fly full force at the ramp. You might make it to the other side or you might not. The nice thing about writing (versus flying over a ravine on a motorcycle) is that if you fail you can hop right back on and try again. And be sure to surround yourself with people who are there to see you make the jump, not the ones who are secretly wishing for a spectacular crash.

"You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you,
you just care what you think about yourself."
-Evel Knievel

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Checking in (and out again)

Thought I'd drop a line, potentially the last one before I go completely bonkers. The house hunt and NaNo are running in parallel; some days are fantastic and some days I curl up in fetal position on the floor while my cats stare judgingly at me. Actually, NaNo is going fantastically. I love my story and my MC, I have plenty to write and tons of directions to explore. After all of the time I spent on my other story (tentatively named Power Trio), it's more fun than I thought to start something new.

The house hunt on the other hand is not more fun than I thought. We've found great houses in bad areas, bad houses in great areas, foreclosures for rent, strange layouts, crazy wallpaper (that the owner is waaaaay to attached to), and then some. My favorite was one with the washer tucked in a tiny hall closet and the dryer on the complete opposite end of the house in a brand new addition off the kitchen. Why the didn't run plumbing from the kitchen into the addition so that they could have the washer and dryer in the same place is beyond me? But, it's in a really cute neighborhood on a quiet street. Figuring out where to compromise is not an easy thing.

I promise as soon as I find a place to live, pack my apartment, move (in the next two weeks, eeeep), write 46,000 more words, and take a bath, I will be back. Back and better than ever.