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November 11, 2010


Life stuff , Life stuff

Hello! I did not mean to be gone so long. I'm sorry. But it's November, which means that all of my blogging time is taken up by novel-writing. And this also means that I am doing less reading and TV-watching, because of the writing, so I have fewer things to tell you about. I have sort of been in the mood to write about various wacky and/or vaguely interesting happenings in my daily life, though, so I surveyed Twitter this afternoon, and the four readers who replied all said they would be fine with that sort of post. So! Here we are!

So, how is the novel going?

It's going well, actually! Thanks for asking! Unlike many frazzled writers this month, I am actually perfectly happy to be talking about it at this point. (This is, of course, subject to change as the month wears on.) I've written at least the minimum of 1667 words each day, and I think I've done at least 2000 all days but one. So I'm about three days ahead at this point. How am I doing this, and feeling remarkably unstressed about it, you ask? Well...

This year's NaNoWriMo strategy:
1. Set the alarm for five. Get up by 5:30. No, seriously. Your body clock may vary, of course, but I am so much more productive and happier in general when I get up early, it makes those unpleasant first few minutes of awakeness totally worth it.
2. Open Scrivener (more about that in another post) and the NaNoWriMo site (for word count updates and the positive reinforcement provided by their stats page). That's it. Oh, and actually, it's okay to be on Twitter, because no one's really tweeting that early anyway.
3. No breakfast until you hit 1000 words for the day. My friend Aishy has a rule that the reward for 1000 words is a piece of candy, but when you hit 1000 words at 6:30 am, candy feels a little premature.
4. Write for an hour. Hit 2000 words. Be done for the day, stop worrying about it, and try to get to work not ridiculously late.
Really, that's it. Go forth and write!

The 5 am thing is generally only on weekdays, by the way. Otherwise I just institute the rest of the plan whenever I wake up. Except for this Saturday, when I WILL be setting the alarm for 5 am, because I have to write and then drive to Maine by eleven or so. My brother's game is starting at 12:30, and usually I play it kind of fast and loose with arrival times, because my usual contribution to the after-game tailgate/potluck (dessert) doesn't really require any set-up. I always say I'll get there an hour early but then end up getting there a minute or two into the first quarter. (I'm trying! Really!) But this weekend is different, as you will see in this dramatic retelling of the phone conversation I had with my mom tonight:

Me: What time do you want to start setting up on Saturday morning?
Mom: Oh, I don't know, maybe eleven? We're meeting a friend for coffee first . . . [N.B. I live closer to the college than my parents do, so they drive up the night before and stay over, while I drive up in the morning.]
Me: So, eleven? I should be there at eleven?
Mom: I guess . . . Wait, why does it matter to you? [The "You never get there early anyway" was merely implied.]
Me: Because you need me there this week. Because I have ALL OF THE STUFF.
Mom: Oh! Right. You do have all the stuff. I forgot. We do need you there.

The reason why I have ALL OF THE STUFF is somewhat convoluted and also has to do with the time when I swear my father was more impressed by my brilliance than he's ever been in his life.*

The Idea That Made My Father Extremely Proud

My parents take this tailgating thing pretty seriously. (It's not just them. A lot of the football parents do.) And there's a lot of stuff involved. They have folding tables and two different grills and a canopy and coolers of food and . . . I don't know, other stuff. They usually fold down the back seats in their SUV to get ALL OF THE STUFF in there, along with their suitcases and whatever else. This means that when we're all up in Maine, I end up driving my parents around when we want to go somewhere together because I can't fit in their car with ALL OF THE STUFF, but really, that's fine, and the system works.

This weekend, though, my aunt decided to come up to Maine as well, but she wasn't thrilled about the idea of driving by herself. And, as I've said, there was no way she was going to fit in my parents' car with ALL OF THE STUFF. Discussions of this went on for days before I finally said "Hey, wait. Why don't you just put ALL OF THE STUFF in my car when you pack up the week before, and I'll bring it for you?" And everyone was very impressed by my cleverness.

So! My point, I think, was that on Saturday I will be pretending it's a weekday and getting up at 5 to write so that ALL OF THE STUFF and I can get to Maine on time. Wish me luck!

* This is unfair. My father has been very proud of basically everything I've ever done, except the really dumb things, and probably even some of those, too. But seriously, he was so impressed by this idea, and it seemed way out of proportion to the actual idea, because it was clever but it's not like I cured cancer or something.

Posted by Kat at November 11, 2010 09:08 PM

I love the CAPS-LOCK feature on the keyboard. It makes dramatic retellings so much fun. That is all.

Posted by: Bailey at November 11, 2010 09:34 PM

You didn't name me right, I demand a rewrite!

Posted by: awesome aishy at November 11, 2010 11:06 PM

LOVE the dramatic retelling! Good luck with all of the stuff.

Posted by: Alissa at November 13, 2010 08:29 AM
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