Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Update #4 - 17,822 Words

Advice to those of you who want to try NaNoWriMo: Don't get the flu mid-month. Unfortunately, this is the voice of experience talking. I have managed to get way, way behind thanks to a nasty combination of headache, sinus pressure, and fatigue. Now I have to dig myself out.

Of course, my normal distractability has reared its ugly head as well. Endless checking of Google News items? Check. Obsessive emailing? Check. Snacks! Check!

Time to bust out the tiara. I need some serious mojo working for me if I'm going to swing 32,000-odd words in the ten days left in November. Thank the Lord we're having Thanksgiving at mom's this year!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Death on Toast

Ugh. I am so, so sick right now. I stayed home from school Monday, dragged my butt there on Tuesday (I should spare myself the heroics), and got the cosmic smackdown about it today. Spent most of today on the sofa, too. Head hurts, body's stiff, head's full of crud.

I hate getting sick. I especially hate getting sick when there are THINGS TO DO around here, like clean and cook and write and write and write. I am VERY behind with NaNoWriMo, so it will take some serious writer heroics to get me back on track. I believe I can do it, but I need to get a move on.

Okay, Mr. Tylenol and I have a date, then I'm going to bed. 15K words and counting...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Update #3 - 11,113 Words

Jeff (Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo) said it would happen, and it has.

I'm in the doldrums.

I have found that breaking the "go back and futz with what you've already written" habit is very hard to do. I keep wanting to go back and reread, fix that word, trash that sentence, etc. etc. rather than forging ahead with the manuscript. There's also that nasty "but there's nothing in the middle!" reality that most of us face when writing a project of this scope.

I've also discovered that I have a bad habit of wanting there to be more, more, more in terms of characters doing things, and perhaps I should slow down and get them to think more before rushing ahead to the next action.

Which is all well and good, but I've got a lot of catching up to do if I'm going to make it to 50K on Nov. 30. As in, I'm in the hole about 9K. Better get crackin'.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Barbara Samuel, GODDESS

Lucky me, I got to spend today in a voice workshop with the marvelous Barbara Samuel. Barbara, who collects RITAs the way most of us collect parking ticktes, is amazing, plus gracious and fun and very, very helpful.

Some things I discovered:
  • I really, really like writing in first person. Guess my natural voice is chatty and straight from the horse's mouth.
  • Focusing on the South is the right thing to do. I wrote one passage and was invited to share with the group, and midway through, I start bawling. Embarrassing beyond belief, but truthful.
  • Sometimes, you can't see yourself because you're in your own way. Get out the thinking, then hand it over to a trusted friend to make sense of it. They can cut through the crap in two seconds.
  • It's good to get away from home and be around writer types for the day. Reminds me that yes, I do have a creative self, and yes, she needs to be nurtured more regularly.
Now if I would just put my butt in the chair and STAY there!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Update #2: 9633 Words

Gah! Seems like once you get behind, there's no catching up. I had high hopes for a very productive day today, but all for naught. I'm a good 3,000 words behind where I should be, so either something's going to kick out the stops tomorrow, or I'm in deep doodoo.

Saturday should be interesting. I'll be attending an all-day workshop on voice with the wonderful Barbara Samuel. She writes like a dream and is extremely gracious and nice to boot, so that will be a treat. I will try like hell to make sure that no matter what writing exercises she gives us, I will produce information that can be grafted into The Five Step Plan. Ha!

Robin update: At the farm now and futzing around. Love interest is showing up today (yet another uncomfortable meeting), as is cheating ex. Okay, I've lit the fuse...let's see if fireworks happen.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Wish for Us

We came, we voted, we waited for Virginia and Montana to get the final numbers straight on their Senate races. Now that the 2006 election is all over but the recounts, some thoughts for my beloved Florida and beyond:
  • Note to President Bush: The voters really have handed you a mandate this time. Listen to them. Try to remember what you were like when you were governor of Texas. You still know what "consensus" is, right? Try it.
  • Note to politicians: Your job is to serve US, not your party.
  • Speaking of politicians...ethics are a good thing. Find some.
  • Note to political parties: Your job's just beginning. Both of you need to prove that you're more beholden to the electorate than to fundraisers and PACs if you want to regain our respect.
  • Note to citizens: Your job is to be involved in the process, not act as armchair quarterbacks. If you don't vote, don't complain.
  • Note to Charlie Crist, my new governor: Have the common sense to listen to the common people now that the election's over. You want solutions to knotty problems? Ask the people involved. I guarantee if you pull 20-odd teachers from the toughest schools in the state (aka the "failing schools"), they'll tell you exactly what to do to straighten things out. You just need to listen to them.
  • Note to Alex Sink, my new state CFO: Go all Bank of America audit on their asses. Bet you find plenty of money wasted that could be put to better use. Start with the Department of Education, 'kay?
  • Three words: checks and balances. None of the three branches should run roughshod over the other. Your primary responsibility is to the country, not to voters with R or D on their registration cards.
  • We put you in office, and we'll take you out.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Update #1: 4800 Words

Running a bit behind on the daily word count--not getting to the magic 1,667 the first couple of days has been a drag. Had a great day yesterday, but a slow start today. I'm 1,800 words or so behind, plus the 1,667 I need to rack up to be on track for today.

When last we saw Robin, she was putting a hurt on some expensive Callaway golf clubs in lieu of her suspected cheating boyfriend's head. Now boyfriend is a confirmed cheater who's lucky not to have an omelet pan to the side of the head, and Robin's packed up and headed out of town. No job, no man, but fun with an outhouse is in her future...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


And we're off! Here's the opening to The Five Step Plan. Enjoy!


I’ve pinpointed when my life officially went to hell. It was the week I lost the court jester charm off my bracelet.

It fits, actually. I haven’t had much to laugh at in a while, which would explain why I’m trolling the parking lot of Exwood Estates Golf Club looking for a whilte BMW. The white BMW 650i belonging to my soon-to-be-ex boyfriend, or whatever you call the 37-year-old man you’ve bought a condo and built most of a life together with.

BMW spotting is much harder to do, by the way, when your eyes are swelled up like a tree frog’s. I do not cry beautifully. No tears rolling down porcelain cheeks for me. “Hello misery” hails the onset of “Hello, frogface.”

Frog-faced or not, finding the right BMW is going to be a trick in this parking lot. Every car that isn’t a Lexus or a Mercedes is a BMW, assuming it’s not one of the unholy Excursion/Escalade/Hummer trio. I’m surprised alarms didn’t go off when my nine-year-old Jeep rolled through the Exwood’s perfectly-landscaped gates.

But they didn’t, and here I am--and there it is. Immaculate, white, vanity tag. DSRV IT.

I know what he deserves, and trust me, it ain’t a BMW.

I consider busting into the clubhouse and pitching a hissy fit when I spy the clubs. Top-of-the-line Callaways, nestled into a tour bag the size of an airplane hangar.

“Why do you need that bag?” I remember asking, “You walk eighteen with those and they’ll have to drag your dead body to the bar.”

“You can’t walk at the courses I’ll be playing. Carts only.”

Well, la-te-damn-da. But good for me, since the valet has cleaned the sacred Callaways and deposited them so conveniently for me.

I wonder what sound Big Bertha makes when she gets up close and personal with Big Live Oak?

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