Friday, November 30, 2007

i wrote a buncha words and all I got was this pretty logo


but i'm a big sucker for gold stars and pats on the back and small treats at the end of long hauls. for example your new little brother was born and suddenly our previously undivided attentions will be cut by 50% but we bought you this lovely skipper doll! sweet! not even a real barbie!

but so yes, yes: 50,026. done. dun. dunne. dunny mc.dune. doen38@#$$%*.

and now i television and sleep and eat pasta and cupcakes and stop the typing. oh and no, it can't be read by any of yous for a long while. i am putting in a drawer for 6 weeks. and then i will come back with fresh brain and then i will start the very long process of rewriting and editing and rewriting. and after all that if i decide it isn't turrible i will share. maybe.

thanks to all my cheerleaders during this month! if i hadn't had the grim threat of disappointed friends and family staring me in the face i may have given up. but i didn't. so thank you. and you.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tomfoolery

There's this commercial I often see on my beloved telly, a commercial presumably about check fraud. It shows an old lady writing a check - probably for $11.51, probably for her Reader's Digest subscription - only to be foiled soon thereafter by a Bad Guy who watches the mail and steals Old Lady Money. But you know what stops this vicious cycle of thievery? A fantastic pen with fantastic ink that can't be washed off! Surprise! Fooled ya! It's really an ad for pens. Pens!

Hmm. You don't seem as outraged as I am. Maybe you've missed it? Catch up on your Matlock reruns. Then we'll talk.

Word Update: 45,500. Tomorrow is The End. I'm tired.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Doomsday

Birds? I don't like them. It might be more accurate to say I hate them. And yes, Mom and Clay, I realize they are related to or descendants of or best friends with dinosaurs. I could care less. The beady eyes, the talons, the...feathers. Some of it goes back to the time a parrot attacked me in a pet store, some of it goes back to the evil swans that lived in the bog near my house on Cape Cod. All I wanted to do was eat my peanut butter sandwich while wearing a tutu and all they wanted to do was eat my face. Nice.

I don't mind ducks so much, and while we were in Texas this past week I suggested we go feed some at the state park. But instead of ducks we found geese. Huge geese. Huge, diabolical, hungry for my flesh geese. I tried to get away. I tried to throw the bread in the water and keep them there. But they followed me onto the dock and tried to kill me. And now, pictures of my death-defying adventure.


I see the geese. I panic.

The geese see me. They begin to salivate.


I just like my hair in this one.

I hide in the corner. Still convinced I'll get out alive.



They find me, they find my bread.



Checking to see if he can climb up on the table. It's unclear at this point.


They hiss. They plot. I run away. They chase.


Closer they come.



I faint. I die. They feast.

The End.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sorry for the Fug

So I got a little bored in Texas and I started playing around with Photoshop and um, I made that wimpy little header with my feet poking out. I'm punchy so I'm leaving it up for a bit. Because why not. Bear with me if I continue to feel inspired post-Nanowrimo and funk around with it during the hours I usually wrote words. It could get ugly.

Oh - and I'm happy to relay I was (fairly) dedicated during the holiday and brought the ol' word count up to 38,000. Choo-choo.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Statewide Bubble

You know how a bite off of someone else's plate doesn't count towards your daily calorie quota? I'm fairly certain the same thing goes for anything I eat in Texas. That's why all those homemade rolls, green bean casserole, pecan pie and nachos covered in cheese and jalepenos didn't count. And that's why the pizza we're about to stuff in our faces is like eating air. Tasty, cheesy, fatty air.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Old Times

My little brother is home for Thanksgiving, watching our family's extensive VHS collection, many of which feature me in some theatrical capacity. We were discussing my outfits and accents and overall weirdness, and it brought me back to that very distinct period of my life. Where I lived and breathed theater, carrying around highlighted, rolled-up plays, reading George Bernard Shaw for fun, listening to a life shattering amount of Rent. And in the midst of all this fumbling, people thought I was having an affair with my high school drama teacher. Age 34. Who was gay. It was all very young adult novel of me.

I wasn't the one directly accused, though. He was, unbeknownst to me, behind closed doors by some secret coven of paranoid teachers. (Direct quote? "We have reason to believe you're having an affair with Amy." The drama!) I didn't find out about it all until months later, because he was that good at keeping a secret, that good at keeping it professional in the face of small town madness.

I like to imagine what those ladies worked up in their minds, huddled over coffee mugs and leftovers in the teachers' lounge. Did they think we hit it in the back of the theater after my dance routine? In his Honda Civic while we discussed Singin in the Rain? That we talked over stage directions before swapping spit? Please. Would have made more sense if I'd joined the circus and walked on top of elephants.

After the accusation, he gathered together a group of (intelligent) teachers to stand up for him. And by "stand up for him" I mean say that he was gay. Which, for the uninformed, means he doesn't like girls. Even teenage ones. Even ones who cut your class to attend his rehearsals. One more time everyone? Girls = Never. They let him off the hook because, well, it was obviously a witch hunt and they looked pathetic. But I can't imagine he ever viewed that place quite the same and I can't say that I did either.

(And for those following my progress, word count = 30,750. Little Engine!)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Half Way!

Just reached 25,560 words, suckas! Thinking of trying to kiss my face. Feeling pretty happy with my usually procrastinating a#$, though I have to admit this hasn't been too painful. Some people talk about pulling all nighters and having no social life and eating 67 Snickers, but I think I'm just doing it the fuddy duddy way. Slow and steady, achy joints and blue hair. With lots of Grape Nuts and Murder She Wrote along the way.

Of course it's hard to get started after a long day at work and sometimes I worry if what I'm writing is blah, but most of the time I'm actually enjoying myself (?!) and happy to have a 'kativity outside of the grind. Anywho. That's the update. And now, I television.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Brrrrrring



If you've met me in recent years, it may surprise you to know I used to live with a crippling fear of placing calls to, buying things from, and asking questions of customer service, cashiers, waiters and the like. Calling the pizza place for a large pepperoni? My personal Vietnam. Buying gum at the grocery store? Just send me to Sing Sing. It all came from some deep fear of embarrassing myself, from the horror of inconveniencing others. Like the dude who bagged my groceries was the Pope.

I eventually got to the point where I could order food at restaurants without blushing and buy stuff without hyperventilating (I got a little too comfortable with this one), but the phone has remained something of an issue for me. I still beat myself up over what, to me, is seriously awkwardness, but which probably goes unnoticed to others. Really, I should kiss myself for the way outside of my hula hoop things I have to do for my job. Like calls to customer service representatives, pretending I'm a potential customer for undercover research:

"Yes, I'm married and live in Nebraska. Can you tell me about any deals that would help me save money? My husband has me on a such tight budget."

Or something like that. As you know, I'm currently writing my mystery novel and so sometimes I pretend I'm my heroine, er, sleuthing? Or something. The more I do it, the less heinous of an ordeal it becomes, but I'm not sure it's something I'll ever enjoy. But neither would living in Nebraska. No offense.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just Being Mean

Sometimes when the words are coming slowly, I go to to the NaNoWriMo site (I'd link, but it's ridiculously slow) and search the forums. All these people have subjected themselves to the same insanity and there's all sorts of threads to explore. Dirty tricks to increase your word count, how to keep your plot on track, tips for character development, etc. etc. It's a great way to procrastinate and feel a false sense of cyber camaraderie.

It also feeds my black heart and its incessant need to judge.

I found this one thread today, called "Too Good for WriMo?" The first post said this:

"No, I'm not trying to sound pretentious by any means, but it really seems like what I'm writing has become the most intellectual/intelligent/awesome thing I've ever written, and I'm afraid WriMo-esque output into it is going to ruin it. That is to say... I have this overt fear that quality will truly give way to quantity, and I could irrevocably ruin my story. I love my plot, and I've dived very deeply into the minds of the characters, and I think it has resulted in a psychological suspense novel that is... amazing (hint: I want to finish and publish!)"

Oh my God.

This was followed by a second post:

"I'm doing the same thing. And I'd liken my novel to Catcher in the Rye or Ulysses, so I'm definately aspiring to the literary."

I just wrote and erased about 12 different jabs at that. But I think leaving it alone, letting it fester for awhile, does it more justice. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Penny Lane


This afternoon, my girlfriend dragged this procrastinating bum out of its apartment to go for a walk and "get rid of our squish." It was sunny and blue skies and smelled like fall and fires and pine. I was happy to be away from the taunting stare of my computer screen and burning up some of the lard I've eaten in the past few months. It's not welcome here anymore. Please find a new home. You've been evicted.

Near the end of our walk, we stumbled upon an old-fashioned (but actually new and shiny) penny candy store. Bliss! We hurried inside and stood in awe at all the jars. Swedish Fish. Mary Jane's. Strawberry Things. Delicious Things. Out of breath, we huffed: "We'll! Be! Back!" The lady behind the counter looked conflicted. Happy we were interested in her store, fearful of our high creep factor. We left, but didn't stop looking back until we'd walked another block. I blew a little kiss goodbye.

Nothing holds more excitement for me than little stores that sell little things for little amounts of money. When we were little, my brother and I had Candy Day. It came once a week, usually on Friday. This cut down on us begging for something sweet every time we went shopping with our Mom and managed expectations for everyone involved. One Wednesday, Amy, age 6ish, decided she wanted her candy early. My Mom reiterated over and over to me that if I ate my candy early, it meant I wouldn't get candy on Friday. Sure, sure, sure, I said. Bring on the Skittles. I got my sugar coma early and two days later, when it was time for Real Candy Day, I threw a full fledged temper tantrum. Tears, screams, punches, death threats. Which goes to show you, nothing comes between me and my foods. Hence, the squish.

(Word Count = 16,782. Plugging away.)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ick

I know it's not fair of me, but when I see a grown man carrying a Starbucks size tall (a small to the non 'bucks drinking population), it just looks wimpy. I figure he's probably a little too close to his mother, uses toothpaste for sensitive teeth, and deeply enjoys talking about his feelings, something we ladies think we want, but when it happens makes us want to hide under the bed.

P.S. Word count = 10,846. Snap!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Oxygen Depletion

As much as I enjoy watching Jay Leno pass out donuts to his staff in the picket lines, and as much as I'm pulling for the writers and pulling against the not-writers, I'd really rather this weren't happening.

Did you know the last strike, in 1988, lasted for 5.5 months? That would take us to mid-April, aka mid-season of Lost aka that last chunk of better-than-usual episodes they throw at us end-of-season for all my other shows too numerous to list? Granted, I watch very old television reruns with a fervor reserved for the elderly, but still. I'm anxious. Donut? Stat?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Turtle Face

So, I'm pretty much on the official NaNoWriMo schedule, with 6,550 words done and done. I thought I might have some burst of inspiration and bust out 5k words at once, as some wretched people on the forums discuss, but I've been more successful with the turtle approach.

This isn't something I've ever been very good at. I had to take this Psychology lab class my senior year at BU, where we trained rats to walk in circles, tap lights and knock poles for food. Kind of sad, but mostly just gross. Every few weeks we turned in these absurd 40-50 page reports on our training methods, our findings, our data, our who even knows what. Needless to say, this was not something I spent my daytime hours attending to. I'd usually wait until 10, 10:30 the night before it was due, turn on my TV, turn on my music and type and type and type. And then take a nap from 3 to 4 AM, wake up, eat some candy, drink some Gatorade and then type some more. Nothing else seemed to get the damn things written. But I was in such angst, filled with such self-loathing, that I knew there must be another way to live.

And so, I'm giving it a shot. And finding, incidentally, my self-pity is at an all-time low. Score!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

And...Go

I'm tired of thinking about it a lot and then only doing it a little, watching the Cranes on my TV instead and then eating some mango sorbet and then falling asleep in a puddle of tired.

I've never completed anything good without a deadline so fine, okay, I'm doing it.

Cheer for me, please?