Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaNo to the left, NaNo to the right

All right. Slightly over two thousand words to go and then we’re outta here, kids.

Then I’ll return to my “normal” writing schedule and maybe, you know, making note of recent music and the like.

Immediate similarities recognized between this year’s novel and the last: both have central characters who have difficulty remembering.

Another six-word memoir, in honor of a dream two nights ago:

Why did you touch my face?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Seven six-word memoirs as I charge/sleepwalk through the last 8,000 words of NaNoWriMo

She said, "Small or medium?" C'mon.

Ghost left, but the dream didn't.

Dancing with socks on slippery surfaces.

My mouth is on the phone.

Pink tomboy from down the circle.

He saw you, but didn't speak.

Can it be louder? This works.

Friday, November 25, 2011

single-sentence memoir

My father warned me not to drive this road, but on the nights I was late, I took it anyway.


Sometimes (not enough, but at least it happens), I am shot with the sudden fire of clarity: This is what I ought to do, there is the exact place I'd love to be (literal and non).

I need more of that urgency and less mental twiddling of the thumbs. But I am working right now. I am pounding back at it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Below 50

I have issues with dying notebooks. You know the kind: you've been writing all along and traveling together, and just now you've become aware that the full pages outnumber the blanks. You keep going, but your pace slows markedly. You bring along a new notebook now, the fresh kind, one that won't run out on you just yet. And if you're me, eventually you let the dying notebook live on the floor or in the blue box in the corner, those final pages still waiting.


On that note, happy Thanksgiving!

On Facebook, I posted, "I'm grateful that I didn't throw up at the finish line" as friends posted their gratitude for the various individuals and circumstances in their lives. Cheeky, but I meant what I said.

I ran a comfortable race today because finally, I found the right songs and the right stories to tell myself. They kept my head out of the race instead of up on the course and around the curve, looking looking looking for the finish. I exhaust myself that way. I give not enough and then too much at the end, and then I bend at the waist and hope that my fear of embarrassment is stronger than the need to throw up.

But not today.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Remember those two days where we thought about transferring to Cornell?

A week since the last post, yet it feels like Monday still to me.

Realization as I started writing: my birthday is in exactly one month, and what have I accomplished in this year?

I feel weird lately, the on and off weirdness that had toned down in the beginning of fall but now comes back loudly. My feelings are hurt easily. I resent quickly. I'm supposed to listen to one song per day, but instead I hear the steady track of what others might say about my life and my rebuttals. Constant, constant. I would say that I'm tired of it, but it's the noise I've come to know.

When I fall out of the loop, I don't want to do it ever again. It = just about anything. Like NaNo, which I slacked on this past week but forced myself into tonight (and I'm glad I did -- I will finish on time, dang it!). Or running. Or going back to college after regularly scheduled breaks, back when that was relevant. Checking work email. Writing, at times.

But I come back.

But perhaps that is the problem. There should be more departures than arrivals, except I don't know where to go and if I need to go there in the first place.


#319: DJ Fresh, "Gold Dust"
#320: Adele, "Rumour Has It"
#321: The Beatles, "Eleanor Rigby"
#322: The Beatles, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"
#323: The Beatles, "P.S. I Love You"
#324: The Beatles, "From Me to You"
#325: The Beatles, "Rain"

Friday, November 11, 2011

I've got the magic in me

courtesy of 11/11, of course!


I have a particularly hilarious young gymnast who is funny primarily because she makes comments that are off the beaten track. They're rather adult-like observations for a tiny 7-year-old.

Yesterday, I decided to learn more.

Me: "Sophia, do you spend a lot of time with adults?"
Sophia: "I watch a lot of darn stinkin' FOX News. NOT BY CHOICE."


While all has been quiet on the Word is Bond front, I've continued to fight the NaNo fight. Two of the past three days have dragged. I have a sense of where the story will go, but getting there felt tedious on those nights.

Solution: get the two characters into an argument. Keep them there.



#313: Adele, "Hometown Glory"
#314: Montgomery Gentry, "Where I Come From"
#315: Alan Jackson, "Where I Come From"
#316: Kenny Chesney, "Back Where I Come From"
#317: Jason Michael Carroll, "Where I Come From"
#318: Digable Planets, "Where I'm From"

Saturday, November 05, 2011

sometimes there's airplanes you can't jump out


Several times a week (less if it's a good week, more if it's not), I try to unravel the ever-present riddle: What am I supposed to be doing? The brain and the good grades -- what were they meant to lead to? Did I ever know? I don't know that I did, which is a small comfort, because then I can't fully disappoint myself. But I can be mostly disappointed, which I am on the bad days.

Then there are the moments like today, when I stand in the black suit and the high heels, and out of all the teenage girls lined up and waiting for this to begin, one of them breaks formation to wave at me and grin. Like we're in on a secret. Like she's genuinely thrilled that I'm here, that we're existing in the same space.

At those times, I feel like I'm circling closer to the answer.


I wrote this post on the sixth of November, but I'm changing the published date to the fifth. Just because I can, y'all.

However, here are two songs:

#312: White Lies, "To Lose My Life"
#313: White Lies, "Farewell To The Fairground"

And a last line:

"There must be something wrong with the man."

Friday, November 04, 2011

thoughts on extracurricular activities

Down by the dock yesterday, with a wind that wasn't too cold and a sky that was just right, he told the story of how she'd said she had too much going on. So busy that it affected the way she interacted with people, she said, but that was it, really, no hard feelings.

Months later, the big reveal: No, that hadn't been the case after all.

I knew that line was coming.

The perks of growing up: illumination where there used to be mystery in the ways that people behave. And, especially, in the ways they avoid, skirt around, try to escape.


I opened up the NaNoWriMo document at 10:30 p.m. the past two nights and went to work immediately. By midnight, I had over the recommended 1,667.

It's not a sprint, but certainly a brisk run. And I'm really enjoying it.

The first year I signed on for NaNo, I didn't actually go through with it. I had vague notions of finishing my thesis in that month. Extracurricular activities and jobs (see above: avoidance), as well as a general sense of despair toward the story, kept me from doing so.

Also, I was a snob: Who can really turn out a quality novel that quickly? What's the point of putting forth something shoddy? It's not for me, no.

Last year, my job situation was in flux and I knew I really ought to spend more of my time writing, anyway, so I jumped in four days late and made it to the finish. And I enjoyed myself immensely along the way. Former snob, now convert.

This year's goals, besides finishing (that's what she...): Allowing myself to be playful with language. Remembering that I can write in the third person past tense. Experimenting. Yes, more of that.


Last night's final line:

"She was the one who had the potential to be dangerous."


#309: On a recommendation, "Colours" by Grouplove
#310: Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith, "Not In Love"
#311: "Bigger Than Us," White Lies

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 1, or Finish What You Started

If I say I'm going to do something, and I have multiple witnesses, I will do it.

Running a race. Keeping a blog. Visiting a country. Writing a novel.

Others will start with me. They will not all make it. I will.

It's just who I am.

Except that today, I almost didn't get there. Seven hundred and seven words into the novel, I thought, Screw it. Do that nonfiction book instead. In fact, maybe write nothing at all, since what's dribbling out isn't doing anything for me.

I opened a new document and started to write an essay about Mark Sanchez, although I didn't get to Mark just yet. I wrote my way over to him, and the process wasn't too painful, and just when I arrived, I decided that I'd give the novel another try. Why not.

Weep not, Mark. We'll meet again in .docx form.

I conclude today at 1,691 words. The story may eventually be parceled into parts and shopped around, it may work magnificently as a whole, it may be nada, but I'm doing something. Not just talking about writing, or thinking about how I ought to submit, or letting ideas romp around. I am actively writing outside of this space, and I've needed more of that lately.

What are you doing? Will you stop, or do you have the endurance for the journey?


#308: Pitbull, "Pump It Up"

12:12 on 11/1/11

NaNo. It's happening!