Turf Marking

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  • Some posts, or the links they contain, are NSFW. This is your only warning.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thank God that's over.

This experience taught me a lot of things, but I'm damned if I'm going to write it all out now. Maybe next time.

Now, I can get on to some serious, hopefully publishable writing. Not to mention blogging!

Monday, November 28, 2005

46,328/50,000 words.

93% to completion.

I could end it by tomorrow, and probably will.
My Wife pwned teh birrrd! All I had to do was guzzle down the cream sherry and do the dishes.

birrrd carcass

Friday, November 25, 2005

This is going on my wallet for the next couple of weeks.

Make one yourself.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Ways to comment on Thanksgiving:

Just say "Happy Turkey Day"

Throw in jokes about the various minories--racial, ethnic, religious, or dietary--who do not find a reason to celebrate this holiday season

Point out how different countries celebrate the same holiday.
Gnawing on a dried-out plucked buzzard to celebrate Britain chucking all the creepy inbred sandal-chewing God-botherers into boats and shipping them all off to a continent cursed by earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados?

-W. Ellis
Some values truly are universal.

Enjoy your turkey or tofurkey or protests against the same!
Running away? You yellow . . .

What Monty Python Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Guess this applies where NaNoWriMo is concerned, right?
37,460/50,000 Words.

74.9% toward completion.

I'm 881 words behind where I should be at this exact moment.

What I've been doing is writing really long chapters (i.e. short stories) with the novel's characters. It's the George Lucas method, where he does his real "directing" in the editing room, rather than during the takes. So, I'm writing pages and pages of stuff, and plan to cut it out, later.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

You will sink in a mire. You like to think you're
normal, but deep down you really just want to
strip off your clothes and roll around in
chicken fat.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
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...The Reader's Digest Version

Dear Sony:

Suck it.

Bill G.
And, it still didn't stop me from getting Chris Botti's To Love Again!

I'm takin' what they're givin'
'Cos I'm workin' for a livin'

-Huey Lewis & the News, "Workin' for a Livin'"
Well, workin' when I'm called, anyway.


Have it your way!

How old am I?

Old enough to be drinking Traditional Medicinals® EveryDay Detox® tea, for Pete's sake. It's not all that bad, really. It smells like licorice, and I'll be damned if it really doesn't help my digestion.

I'm also old enough to listen to the latest Chris Botti album, with guests such as Sting, Paula Cole, and... Steven Tyler??

As Dorothy Parker once said to her boyfriend
"Fare thee well,"
As Columbus announced when he knew he was bounced,
"It was swell, Isabelle, swell,"

-Cole Porter, "Just One of Those Things"
I've only ever been a casual follower of The Boondocks strip. While I probably don't seek it out as much as I should, I've never passed up a chance to check it out when I could.

To be honest, I probably wouldn't have sought out the new cartoon series of the same name except for the express purpose of seeing what the controversy, generated before the show even started airing, was all about. I'm not posting my opinions (yet), but I just wanted to take this moment to thank all the people who bravely stood up to tell me why I should avoid this show for turning me on to it. I probably would have let it slip under my radar if not for you!

This is pages 71 to 120 of my NaNoWriMo piece. I've cranked out another five pages tonight (I had another gig), but I gotta tell you. Week Three started out being the picnic that was promised in the book No Plot? No Problem!. But, it's killing me, now.

To be honest, I know why. That "Inner Editor" of mine, which believe it or not was more than content to sit quietly for two weeks, is now going, "Okay, you've had your fun. But, now you're just adding words for the sake of the word count and meandering nowhere--at least nowhere near the plotline."

In truth, there are only about two or three more scenes I need to wrap up the story and I'm pretty damn sure it's not 24,000 words worth of stuff. Anyway, I've decided on an uneasy compromise. I'm not going to write filler, but I've been trying to elaborate on all the background and exposition that I just haven't had the time to more skillfully work into the story. Then, I've done the same with some of the scenes I haven't written yet. It's frustrating to throw craft completely out the window, but that's what has to happen if I continue with the project within the spirit of the rules.

I guess I just have to accept that decision. If I want a submittable story by the end of the month, there's no reason I can't stop now and pare it down. But, I want to complete the project I signed up for.

Oh, and for the curious: 27,035/50,000 words, or 54%. I'm behind. I know. Stop yelling at me.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I mentioned (Or, did I? My sense of time and place has become skewed for the past few weeks) having a temp gig three days last week. There was nothing today (though perhaps for tomorrow), so I had time to work on The Novel, Draft 0.9. I won't even give it the dignity of calling it a "first draft," because since last week, it's degenerated into a bastardization of narrative prose, blocks of text that resemble a Marvel Comics comic book script, and when I was too blocked to manage even that, plain notes.

I didn't believe it, but perhaps because my biorhythms are on their way back up (full moon is around the corner) the things I've been hearing about regarding a sort of Week Three NaNoWriMo quantum leap must be true, because it hit me. I managed to make up for a lot of lost time, despite some of the chores I got to today.

Right now, I'm at 21,502/50,000 words--43% to completion. Although, as bad as things have gotten, I don't even feel right about using the word "completion." Feels better to say "the goal." Anyway, when I wake up tomorrow, providing I don't have a temp gig, I'll be a hair's breadth over a single day behind where I should be on the 15th day of the month.

I leave you all tonight with an old article from comic book writer Warren Ellis, from a series of articles he did on, among other things, comic book writing. I read this ages ago and was pleased to find it again. It's sort of an encouragement (which is rare for him) to beginning writers. And, even though he's talking about comics, what he says easily applies to other forms of writing and jives a lot with what other people have to say about getting published. I would dare say it applies to anyone trying to succeed with his or her art.
But here's a secret.

95% of all writer's submissions are absolute [siht].


You want to impress an editor? Learn to spell. Lay out your pitch cleanly and elegantly. Be coherent. I knew of a writer who wrote the clearest, most lucid and beautifully structured synopses anyone had ever seen. The actual scripts, when they came in, was utter gibberish, made no sense at all, had plainly been written on acid. But the damn things were commissioned and paid for on the strength of clear pitches.

Be good. That's what'll capture an editor's attention. Because 95% of that pile of submissions next to them is inexcusably awful, and they know it. You will stand out from the crowd because there are no semen stains on your submission, because a cursory examination shows that you have a basic grasp of English, because it reaches for concision and appears professional in its approach, because the covering letter isn't headed "Dear Bastard." Etcetera.
There, doesn't that give you hope? All right, then--good night.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I'm not really doing anything "bad" according to the NaNoWriMo rules. The point is word count, by any means necessary short of typing out "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" over and over like Nicholson did in The Shining. But, I've now resorted to what I feel are dirty tricks to keep myself at a decent pace (which is to say, two days worth of work behind).

In those spaces I feel stuck, I've resorted to putting things in brackets, like [Okay, right here is where I wanted to put the scene where the aliens stop the pickup truck, beam three of the four people on board, leaving the forth one who, for some reason, is able to resist the paralyzation beam and yadda yadda yadda.] (No, that appears nowhere in my "novel," but you get the point.)

But, tonight it was even worse. Rather than hammer out the scene I was working on, I just cobbled a transition into another scene I had planned that wasn't supposed to happen for at least one more chapter. Well, the one upside is that while I know I'm going to end up with something that's certainly not going to be confused with Proust, I know I'm making it good enough to have decent material that I can sift through later. Maybe pare down to something short that I can submit somewhere. Personally, I see nothing wrong with the thought of writing a "novella" as opposed to a novel, but if anything, I'd rather see a good 5,000 word submittable short story come out of this than a novel/novella that stands a snowball's chance of seeing the light of day.

I was sort of hoping to have a marathon session tomorrow, but I've been letting stuff slide around here. I made a half-assed attempt at housework when I got home just so I could scribble down what I got down tonight.

Since there isn't a counter anymore, I have to say that I'm at 15,064/50,000 words, or 30% toward completion.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

You will probably win Nanowrimo - it's a brillant
opportunity to lord your mighty brains over
your less well-endowed friends. Whatever.

It's Nanowrimo Time! Will you reach 50K?
What kind of novel will you write?

brought to you by Quizilla
I was going to let this slide this week, between NaNoWriMo and a little temp gig I picked up. But, since the meter broke down (click the broken link over there--it's kind of sad, really), I wanted to mention that I'm at 14,335/50,000 words. That's 29%, and while it may sound impressive, I'm still running about two days behind schedule. The mathematics says I should be at 16,670 words by today, and while I could theoretically pull a James Joyce and ramble on for two thousand words in the next forty minutes, I ain't gonna.

Anyway, I gotta get to bed.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Yeah, I slacked this weekend. I took the time to attend a reading by Pulitzer Prize-winning local author Alison Lurie. While her book really didn't interest me (at least, what I read of it), I guessed that she'd have a lot of interesting insights to share during whatever Q&A session that might take place, and I was right.

[Edited to remove the broken counter.]
I did say that I'd blog less in November, although it just seems like I'm posting at the usual (dismal) rate :).

Seems like most of the people doing NaNoWriMo who keep blogs like to brag about how they're taking part. I was down with that. I even put the meter in the sidebar from an adjunct "this site is in no way officially affiliated with NaNoWriMo" website that a lot of people use. What I hadn't planned on doing is being one of those who complain about how their progress, or lack thereof, is kicking their a$$.

But, it's like I always say: Just when you start thinking you're unique, just remember that so is everyone else.

Yes, I've heard all the criticisms of NaNoWriMo, and even agree with some of them. So, please don't post them, or stock tips, or he/she/it pr0n ads, or anything else that would make me have to start doing all that comment verification/moderation stuff. I'm doing NaNo to get myself into the discipline of writing--seriously writing--first drafts. Period. I'm doing it for the same reason I still do the kata Taikyoku Shodan, because the basic, basic skills from that kata have translated directly into my ability to learn and to perform the skill sets from every martial art I've studied since TKD. Every one. If you can't use your hips, I don't care where your art is from; to you, it's worth two things, jack and siht.

But, I digress. I'm here to complain about my NaNoWriMo progress, or lack thereof.

I didn't do a lick of writing (for NaNo) today, although I spent a bit of time planning the novel out a little further. I seem to have written myself into a corner in that I hit the transition between Act I and Act II much earlier than I planned to. And now, the number of places I can go from here is starting to scare me into paralysis. I realize that it's entirely possible that I don't need what was left out, that it would just interrupt the flow that's already in motion. I can accept that, and maybe I have to.

In any case, I've got 3,334 words to do before I go to bed tomorrow night; difficult, but theoretically doable. I think I just need to keep going at this point. And then, I'll have to cope with what is apparently the notorious Week Two NaNoWriMo blahs.

On a more positive note, I have to say that seeing thirty-five pages of manuscript, devoted to a single piece, is nice.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Yes, I've got some nerve to be here after the last post, but I do this every week.

59% Tastefulness, 51% Originality, 67% Deliberateness, 45% Sexiness
[Tasteful Original Deliberate Prissy]

One is certain: you have great taste and plenty of ideas. You have clearly defined beliefs about what's good and what's bad in fashion but they are far from banal. Stylish and imaginative, you prefer to inspire admiration than to shock and you mostly succeed. Even if sometimes you'd like to have more courage to put on something absolutely outrageous you do great job in creating a unique look that others look up to. There is a possibility that you work in the fashion industry. If you don't, perhaps you should.

The opposite style from yours is Bar Cruiser [Flamboyant Conventional Random Sexy].

All the categories: Fashion Enemy Bar Cruiser Kid Next Door Sex Bomb Hippie Kid Fashion Rebel Fashion Artist Catwalk God(ess) Librarian Sporty Hottie Office Master Uptown Girl/ Boy Brainy Student Movie Star Fashionista Glamorous Soul

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 46% on Tastefulness
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You scored higher than 59% on Originality
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You scored higher than 93% on Deliberateness
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You scored higher than 40% on Sexiness
Link: The Fashion Style Test written by mari-e on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test
Would you believe that, aside from the flares and that short-sleeve vest thing, I could pretty much reproduce that male look?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

There will probably be very little of it this month because of NaNoWriMo. It's Day 2, and I'm just on track. I was about 20% ahead of schedule last night, but hey. I had other things to do earlier today and Law & Order was on. Hey, where else can I catch actor Richard Brooks since good vs. evil was cancelled? (The character of Henry MacNeil is right behind Jim Kelly on the bad-assedness scale.)

Of course, now that I've opened the blogging door, watch this turn into a big procrastination tool.