Friday, November 30, 2007


Today at 11:13am I hit 50,000 words, thus "winning" NaNoWriMo!!! I still can't believe that I did it. Thanks to everyone for all the support, especially Leah who's had to endure a month of me drinking coffee and staying up late writing. My current word count is 50,043 and I'm on page 187. I'd say I'm a little over the halfway point, which means there is still a lot of work left to do...but I'm not worried about that, not today. Today I'm a winner. I set out to write 50,000 words by the end of November--and I did it!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Fascination with Octopi Continues...

What does it all mean?

The Final Hours of NaNoWriMo

Well it's coming down to the wire. I'm currently taking a break from a marathon of writing. Tomorrow is the last day of NaNoWriMo, and I'm going to make it. I came home from school and got tricked into watching a DVD with Leah (she's so sneaky). Then I got sucked into Guitar Hero (Lindsey's coming in a few weeks, so I have to brush up). After I cooked dinner I got my ass in gear and wrote a over 2,000 words.

My count is 48,011 words! I'm nearly there!!! Cross your fingers everybody.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

NaNoWriMo Day 28 Wrap-Up

Well the first part of this crazy thing is nearly over. The spark that got me writing my first novel is nearly over, NaNoWriMo 2007. I have only 2 more days to reach 50,000 words. How am I doing? Well, baring any sort of mishap, I'm going to make it. Today I wrote a little bit beyond my word count (to catch up) and am not sitting at 45,279.

All I have to do is write 4,721 words in the next two days. Then I can say I "won." Yay!

Only, there is one small problem--much like my High School graduation, there is less to celebrate because guess what? I ain't done. I simply have too much more in my head, another 5K isn't going to get the job done, which means even after November I'm still not going to "have" a novel. I'm afraid that the discipline was wane (after all, I "won" right?) plus I have finals, graduation, and job hunting looming *yikes*. Basically, I'm happy that I'm going to complete my first NaNoWriMo, and that I've written so much already. I'm proud of myself, and think this is a great experience, but I'm worried I STILL won't finish this thing.

My plan is to keep plugging away (including keeping the daily word count) until it's done. My hope is two more weeks of work and I'll be typing "The End" on my the last page of my first draft.

So, even though in two days I'll have "won"...I won't consider myself a winner (not yet).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Standard Gargoyle Decisions

This one slipped right through the cracks...I bought this CD about a month ago when it came out, and I totally forgot to review it! Oops...

None of you know who the hell Robert Pollard is, but he's the greatest rock-star that never was. Pollard is truly the stuff of Indie-music legend. The tale is complex, but here is a brief synopsis:

This kid has dream--wants to be in The Who. Kid grows up, but never really "grows up" (if ya get my drift) and ends up a thirty something 4th grade teacher with an unusual hobby: the guy writes songs. On weekends, Bobby Pollard and some of his Ohio drinkin' buddies get together and play "rockstar." Bobbie records some of their sessions on a 4-track tape recorder. Pretty soon, a band is born--Guided By Voices.

Eventually, people are paying to see the little band of buddies get drunk and play their little songs. An independent label starts putting their stuff out. It's all "lo-fi" (meaning it's cheaply recorded) but it has soul. Turns out Pollard can write really catchy, 60s era rock songs. Really, really catchy ones. The band goes through LITERALLY HUNDREDS of members, but one constant remains: Robert Pollard.

Guided By Voices takes off, Pollard quits teaching and is suddenly a "near" rockstar. After a decade of rocking, the Pollard calls it quits for GBV (they never got bigger than playing Conan O'Brien a few times and being in the odd on SCRUBS).

But like all prolific geniuses (Stephen King I'm looking at you), Pollard's "retirement" is nearly as prolific as when he was active.

Case in point, last month he released two solo records...on the same day. One was a soft, prog-rock-experiment, the other was a straight rocker STANDARD GARGOYLE DECISIONS. Being poor, I opted to skip the experiment and buy the rock. And I'm glad I did. Pollard's fourth (or is it fifth?) solo record since GBV split is actually pretty good, just not as good as the old Guided By Voices records were. Essentially, it's a mellow GBV record. Call it GBV-lite.

Pollard still sings in his fake British accent (sometimes sounding like Peter Gabriel) , the tunes are still catchy and very short. Pollard's chief songwriting talent is the ability to write hooks. You know, the part of most songs you remember? Well Pollard can do that like no one, only problem is...that's all he writes. So what you get are 2:o0-2:30 songs that are hooks and guitar riffs. These songs either click with you, or they don't.

STANDARD GARGOYLE DECISIONS is good, but nothing I would play for anyone I know and expect them to "get it" on the first listen. The longer Pollard goes without his band, the more "difficult" his albums become. There is something magical about hearing a new Pollard song, though. I got goosebumps hearing "The Killers" and "Pill Gone Girls" the first time I put the disc on. There are a few moments like that, peppered throughout the record--that make me remember how great GBV was. Everything else falls into two categories: just okay or what I consider "filler" (noise that barely resembles a song).

Pollard frustrates me because his moments of brilliance (revealed in the list below) are just barely good enough to justify the rest of the crap he loads onto his CD's.

The man simply cannot self-edit.

Basically he writes and records EVERYTHING that passes through his head. This is probably what killed his bid for the big time. But, if you can look past the turds...there are some real treasures.

Go download the following:

"Pill Gone Girls"
"The Killers"
"Spider Eyes"
"Feel Not Crushed"
"Shadow Port"


Final Week of NaNoWriMo & Exit Exams

Okay, this it...crunch time. I have to confess that I'm still a little surprised that I've made it thus far. But now is not the time to celebrate, far from it.

First, the bad news:

I'm a few hundred words behind on my word count. I took Sunday off (too tired) and it's really biting me in the ass. I now have to write 2,000 words a day for the rest of the week to make 50,000 by Friday.

The good news:

Today I hit 42,000 words! Only 8,000 words left to go!!! Even better--my story won't be wrapped up in 8,000 words...meaning instead of having a NaNoWirMo "novella" (come on 50,000 isn't a full length novel) I may actually write a fairly lengthy novel.

Ugh, my head already hurts just thinking about the editing...

In other news:

Today I took my exit exams. It was really weird, sitting there in the English Department offices...taking it alone...I was supposed to take it last Tuesday, but I was in New Mexico! Anyway, I made it up today and it was really depressing. Between my money situation, my impending graduation, and lack of job prospects...I'm about 1/2 an inch shy of a nervous break down!!! Yay!

Sorry, but I gotta ask:

"Where have all the good times gone?"

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Taking a Break Today...enjoy the "Bumpers"

I'm tired. I have to eat Thanksgiving Dinner PART II here in KC, then drive the three of us home (me, Leah, and Rusty) to Saint Louis. I know there are a million things I SHOULD do today, but I'm not doing anything today.

I changed my "Welcome to the Insanity" picture at the bottom of the blog this week. To celebrate this momentous occasion, let's take a look back at all those blog bumpers from long ago...

And then there is this, a little movie I made for YouTube (promoting myself as usual):

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Today was another watershed...I reached the amazing/incredible 40K word count. I'm exhausted, so I stopped once I made my word count (though I probably should have kept going).

Me and Leah flew back into KC this morning, it was a good flight. No problems or delays.

I'm terrified, now that the Thanksgiving break is nearly means in about 2 weeks I'm going to be a college graduate. I went on a few days ago and looked at the jobs...ick.

I wish I still had another semester.

Friday, November 23, 2007

New Mexico is Weird...

But not this weird (a couple of interesting photos I took and I doctored):

NaNoWriMo Day 22&23 Wrap-Up

Yesterday (as you know) was Thanksgiving...and I as such, I had nothing to do but sit around and wait for the turkey to be cooked. I set myself a pretty lofty goal--I wanted to write 5,000 words and get to 40,000. I didn't make it though. I had a paper I had to write, so I went a little over my word count and then I stopped to write the school paper. Earlier this semester I had some trouble writing my papers...but this one was a breeze. I guess when you've written as much as I have lately, a little English paper is nothing...

So, where do I stand?

I'm still ahead (by 518 words). I wrote a little over 1,700 word the past two days putting my overall word count at 38,859 words. My page count is 143 (and a half) pages...which is good because I'm hoping my first draft will be slight above 200 pages. Tomorrow I'm going to cross the 40,000 word mark. Only 10K to go!!! I have one week left and, as long as I make my word count everyday I'm going to make it to 50,000!!! I don't think I'm going to have the first draft finished, though, until the second week of December. I never thought I'd say this...but 50K isn't enough words!

My who things have changed.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Well it's Thanksgiving, and what do I have to be thankful for? It seems like most holidays, the true meaning of Thanksgiving has been lost. Most people get together and have a big dinner, but why? Thanksgiving is two things: one, it's a remembrance of the Pilgrims and there struggle to survive in a harsh world (they managed, thanks to "providence" and of course, the "Indians" who understood how not to die in the untamed American wilderness). Secondly, Thanksgiving is a time for contemplation and reflection, a time to sit back and think about what we have. No matter how bad things get you always have something to be thankful for. Right now I have a cold, and I'm miserable...imagine if I had cancer or some other horrible disease? Health. You always have your health to be thankful for.

Family. I'm thankful that most of my family is alive and well (even though I can't be with them today). I'm thankful that I have Leah and her stupid dog Rusty. The older I get, the more inclusive the term "family" gets. I always thought it was the opposite, for some reason...that with time your idea of family (as well as your actual family) would shrink in size, but that's not the case at all. I love Leah and by bringing her into my life I have met a whole new rouge's gallery of strange people I inexplicably love.

Opportunity. I'm thankful for all the opportunities I've ever gotten (especially the ones I didn't deserve). I've been an unemployed college student for two and a half years, and I've had a much easier life than anyone should ever get. I'm thankful for that and the opportunity to attend (and graduate) college. It was a lot of work, but coming up with the money was just as much (if not more) work! I'm thankful for all those people who have chipped in over the past few years.

Existence. It may seem that I'm scrapping the bottom of the barrel here, but I'm thankful to exist! If you stop and think about it, existence is a pretty strange/wonderful thing. Have you ever thought about how strange it is to be alive? And have you ever thought about how petty everything is compared to the awesomeness that is existence? I don't, at least, not enough...but the next time you're down because you had a bad day consider this: it's a miracle that you're alive! It's a miracle I'm alive! Celebrate that for a while, see if your bad day isn't put into perspective.

The Service of Others. Lastly, I am thankful that there are people on this planet who are selfless enough to serve the common good. I hate war, it is our worst invention, but there are people who must be fought, and I'm thankful there are people willing to fight the good fight. I'm also thankful for those who dedicate themselves to making the world a better place--bell ringers, bake sale bakers, telethon sponsors, philanthropists in all shapes and sizes...because sometimes all you need is a little help, and then everything is fine.

So today, when you sit down to eat your turkey (or tofu-bird) take a moment to pause and think about the true meaning of Thanksgiving (hint: it's in the name).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

NaNoWriMo Day 21 Wrap-Up

I did it! I managed to make my word count today. So far I haven't had any problems out here in New Mexico writing. I don't have a lot of down time, but everyone has been good about leaving me alone when I need to "work" (I haven't explained to any of Leah's family what it is I'm up to). Tomorrow, Thanksgiving, is going to be a slam dunk!!! All I have to do is eat dinner (which is going to be at 2:00PM). Though I'm known somewhat for my cooking skills, I'm know one wants me in the kitchen. Normally, I'd be a little saddened by this, but it means I'll have most of the day to not only meet my word count...but exceed it!

Stats for Today:

1,696 words written today

35,198 words total

133 written pages

New Mexico

Today was the first-full day in New Mexico. I got up and did some writing (still have another 200 words to go before I meet my word count, though). After that we went shopping (for Thanksgiving). Apparently New Mexico has a local store called "Costco" never heard of it, but it seemed like a nice mom-and-pop store.

After that, Leah's sister and her husband took us on a nature hike at a place called Tent Rocks State Park. I'm still getting over my sniffles, and it was pretty cold/windy, but overall we had a blast. I'd love to write more, but I still need to finish working on my novel. Enjoy these highlights:

On the way to our hike, we spotted this huge junk-yard fire. It was cool.

Though it was called "Tent Rock State Park" it looked more like "Penis-Shaped Rock State Park."

Overall, New Mexico is a beautiful place. I've never been in a more beautiful place that had so little...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

At Tent Rocks

Here's a little clip of our hike earlier today:

NaNoWriMo Day 20 Wrap-Up

Well, I'm still at it!

Somehow I've managed to stay on top of my writing (despite being sick and in a strange place). I wrote about a 1,000 words at KCI today, man that place is a dump. I've only been to a handful of airports, but I gotta tell you...KCI ranks at the bottom of the ones I've seen. Anyway, I wasn't going to try to do any writing "in-transit," however my dad took us to the airport WAAAAY to early. So we had plenty of time to sit there and twiddle our thumbs. I thought to myself, "why not?" So I got the old laptop out and got to work.

I just finished writing for the day, I got 1,703 words total word count is 33,427. Not bad, I'm ahead of where I need to be, but only by a couple of words (my healthy 1,000+ lead is long gone). I could probably write more today, but I'm all alone with this (very curious) puppy (won't stop licking me). So I guess I'll stop for the day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

NaNoWriMo Day 19 Wrap-Up

I made my word count (barely). I wrote some real shit today, the kind of crap I can't wait to go back and re-edit. But I hit my word count.

I feel awful, and tomorrow I get to fly to New Mexico (yay me). Hopefully the delays (which there will be) will be long and allow me to hit my word count ASAP. I hope I can make it through this difficult holiday week.

CLOVERFIELD Trailer Online!

Hey kiddies! Guess what's up and kicking over at Apple's site? Yep, that's right--the new CLOVERFIELD trailer!

I like Quicktime because you can literally go through whatever your watching frame-by-frame. That may sound like a nerdy thing to do, but when you're trying to see little details in something that has been edited together with a lot of quick cuts...well it makes all the difference in the world.

Interesting things I gleaned from the trailer:

A girl explodes! Yep, that's right. The protagonists are shown in some sort of field hospital, we see the shadow of a woman struggling with a pair of bio-suit wearing scientists. Now, this scene was reported as "a woman getting mauled by smaller versions of the creature" but when we slowed it down Leah noticed the shadowy figures looked like guys in haz-mat suits (she's right). A few frames later the woman's midsection shrinks then expands and BOOM! just as she explodes...quick edit and we're out of the scene.

What the fuck?

Apparently the rumors of a disease/illness being linked with this creature (the working title of the movie was THE PARASITE after all) seem to have added significance. Anyway, there's another shot of the main creature ducking between a pair of sky scrapers. January is right around the corner, and I can't wait!!!

Go here to check it out.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

NaNoWriMo Day 17&18 Wrap-Up

Okay, I'm done freaking out (for now). Yesterday me and Leah drove to Kansas City and I started getting sick. The long and short of it is: I didn't do very much writing. This was the first time since October where I did hardly no writing. It felt horrible. Today I woke up and starting working on it. I had to write more than the 1667 words to catch up to where I was supposed to be (this was a first for me, usually, even when I didn't hit 1667, I was still ahead of the game...being behind sucks).

Though I felt like shit, I banged it out (I'm even a few words ahead). I reached another big milestone today--30,000 words! I'm 60% there. If I can only survive the Thanksgiving break...

Wish me luck, and send me good vibrations.

Shit Starts to Go Wrong (of Course)

I have no idea why, but before I travel (never ever fucking time) I get some kind of upper respiratory shit. Before I went to Hawaii, back in 2005, I lost my voice and had the worst sore throat I'd ever had. I panicked. It was my dream to go to Hawaii, and I'd spent a ton of of course I was going to get sick (keep in mind, this was in the end of July...not exactly cold and flu season). I had just quit Uni-Guard (for the first time) and I had about a week to get better. I drank (and I'm not kidding) about a gallon of orange juice a day, I went to a doctor (something I never do), and I sat around getting rest.

Day before I had to go, I recovered. I went and had a great time.

Yesterday I woke up, and of course I felt like shit. I let Leah drive us to KC (something I rarely do, for many reasons). I'm sick. I feel like shit. Everyone thinks I'm trying to get out of going to New Mexico, but fuck them. This is for real. I didn't make my word count yesterday (I got out about 150 words before collapsing). So today, I have to play MAJOR catch-up. I have a paper I need to write for American Fiction, I have an novel I'm supposed to be reading, I have to clean my clothes (I currently own no clean clothes).

Basically, everything is going bad/wrong. Having a great time in KC, wish you were here.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Windmill @ Nite

This is the last of my notebook doodles. It's the last because I've been doing crossword puzzles and word-searches instead. Have I mentioned how I can't wait to graduate...?

Anyway, this is what I imagine Switzerland looks like at night:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Tick Tick Boom!"

Here's the video for The Hives latest single "Tick Tick Boom":

The Black and White Album

Guess who's back?

That's right: Howlin'Pelle Almqvist, Nicholas Arson, Vigilante Carlstroem, Dr. Matt Destruction, and Chris Dangerous--aka The Hives are back. Their new album came out on Tuesday and it kicks major ass.

When we last left the boys from Sweden, they stepped their game up (in a big way) on the spectacular TYRANNOSAURUS HIVES. I've said it before, and I'll say it again--there is something in the water up there in Sweden...because NO ONE rocks harder than the Swedes (at least, right now).

This is The Hives third record, and though they have a particular formula, it still feels fresh: the scream-y vocals (come on, he goes by "Howlin'" what do you expect?), the big fat guitar riffs, the crazy "me-you-us-against-the-world" lyrics. It's all here.

But like the previous record, The Hives continue to branch out and to expand their sound. Prime example: the funky, '70s soul/disco sound on "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S" Much like "Diabolic Scheme" from the last record, this track again highlights that if they really wanted to--The Hives could be a funk band.

Some people might be turned off by this sort of odd-genre mixing, but I have no problem with it. What most people want from The Hives (or expect from them) is the explosive/bombastic rock song. No one in the past 10 years has had singles as dynamite as The Hives. With this in mind, the band has wisely crafted their new lead-single, "Tick Tick Boom" to play up on this fact. The song is an orgy of guitar goodness. Some people are going to fault them for using the studio trickery during the hook (the "boom!" in the song) but I can't blame them. If you had the money, you know you would do it, too. Great, great song. Probably won't be that big of a hit (sadly) but it's good.

The album isn't as tight or cohesive as TYRANNOSAURUS HIVES (which is still their best record). Whereas the last album grabbed you by the shirt collar and shook you, THE BLACK AND WHITE ALBUM seems a little gentler. I was able to stop and catch my breath a few too many times. However, there is something to be said about the up-and-down carnival ride-like experience this album gives you.

What the hell do I mean by that? Well the band goes from full throttle rock, to the before mentioned funk, to a creepy instrumental (the organ and drum machine love fest "A Stroll Through The Hives Manor Corridors").

Consider also the album's weirdest (and best) track, the vaudeville-esque "Puppet on A String" which consists only of a piano and some hand claps.

What I'm getting at is: it's a long, strange trip. Emphasis on long--THE BLACK AND WHITE ALBUM is the same length as both of their previous records...combined! The only fault I can ever really find in The Hives is that their records are simply too short (the last two were barely over 20 minutes each). The fact that this one is double the length of their last two is a good sign.

Overall, the record is fantastic. I like the weirdness, but it does push the band away from their Garage Rock roots--and I could see it alienating a few of their fans. But, as someone who likes it when a band (or artist) tries something new, I have no complaints. For $7.99 you can't go wrong.

The Limemonkey gives THE BLACK AND WHITE ALBUM an "B+"

Evil Robot

Another notebook margin doodle, this one's an evil robot:

NaNoWriMo Day 15 Wrap-Up

Two major milestones were reached today:

1. I am now OVER HALF of the way to 50,000 words. Today I crossed 25,000 words!!!

2. I also wrote the 100th page!!!

It's weird, having written this much. In the past I'd write every few days or so, but for hours at a time. When I was done with something I was drained. By writing a little bit everyday my word count is increasing but my stamina is holding. I guess it's true what they say, slow and stead wins the race (also PACE YOURSELF!).

I started working on the fourth chapter today (it's actually the fifth if you include the prologue). Right now my biggest complaint is my chapters. I have two main plot thread and one small one...I'm juggling them all well, but I'm not sure if some parts belong in chapters with the other threads. I may go back (when I'm done, deep in the editing process...months from now) and break it all up into small chapters (rather than the lengthy ones I have now).

I donated $10 to the people over at the NaNoWriMo website. I felt bad reading all their sob stories about how they need funding. I decided they've done me a great service and even though I'm poor, I can manage $10. The money goes to help run the website and fund various programs to encourage children (and adults) to be creative. If you have a spare dollar, go give it to them!

Word's written today--1,960

Total word count--26,462

Ghostbusters 3???

This is crazy. I got all excited about this time last year when there was a rumor that they were making a Ghostbusters video little boy heart was shattered when I found out it was all fake.

Then today I'm reading Ain't It Cool News and they have a story about...wait for it...Ghostbusters 3!!! Now, as a HUGE fan of the first two movies (they were probably my favorite growing up) I was a little scared. None of those guys have aged well. None of them. Plus, the recent "hey let's make sequels to movies that came out decades ago" is kinda getting old (none of them have been good).

BUT! This is different. They aren't making Ghostbusters 3 as a film...but as a video game. AICN cites an article in Variety Magazine that says everyone from the cast is going to lend their voices and likenesses to the game and...wait for it...Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis are going to write the game's story/script. The game is going to be set in the 1990's after the events of part 2.


Still not convinced that this could be/will be fantastic? Look at this screenshot:

I just soiled myself.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Calling in "Mario"

I didn't go to school today, instead I stayed home and played the new Mario game that came out on Tuesday. I was going to buy it for Leah (for Hanukkah), but she had other plans. So, she bought it...but I'm the only one who's played it. She's too busy or stressed out...or something.

Anyway, SUPER MARIO GALAXY is a blast. It's a total throwback to SUPER MARIO 64 (not the 64th title in the series, but rather the Mario game on the Nintendo 64 system). It's fun, a bit on the easy side--but fun. The game makes pretty good use of the Wii's nontraditional controller. There is something satisfying about being a plumber who kills his enemies by jumping on their heads.

I did some writing too--I made my word count. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but I didn't quite make it yesterday. I'm still ahead (by a little over 700 words), so don't panic. Tomorrow I'm going to hit double milestone: I'm going to pass 100 pages (which I have never done before) and I'm going to hit the halfway mark to 50,000 words. Big, big day.

The next week is going to be the hardest. I'm going to be writing on the road. Saturday I'm going home to KC and next Tuesday I'm flying with Leah to New Mexico. I'm going to take my camera and post a few pictures. Should make for some more interesting posts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This Fox...

...has been in my notebook for a while.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Other than Novel Writing...

Not much going on in the world of the Limemonkey. I'm a little over a month away from graduation...and it's freaking me out. I'm sick of school, and ready to be done--but I fear for the future. I'll be glad when I can go out and make money again (being poor sucks), but I have no idea where I'll go to get work. My father in-law-to-be owns his own business and keeps hinting that he wants me to go work for him ($12 an hour) but the place is a dive and I don't want to work with someone I'm related with.

Career Services at UMSL was no help (more of a joke than anything else). Luckily, I'm a plucky sort of lad, who usually lands on his feet. Were it not for this fact, I think I might be in full blow panic mode.

I'm sure we'll get there soon...

I do plan on going on after Thanksgiving and giving that a whirl. But honestly, I'm not holding my breath.

The Mosquito Vine (Rough Excerpt)

I added an excerpt from my work-in-progress to my NaNoWriMo profile (just for giggles). I also posted the snippet on my other, all Fiction blog which you can access here. Read the warning at the beginning...this hasn't been edited in anyway. But if you're curious, go check it out.

The scene I included is a small one, but I posted it because it includes a cameo (of sorts) from my mother.


NaNoWriMo Day 12 Wrap-Up

Have you ever read a book that was turned into a movie? Or maybe it was play you read for a class, then saw acted out on stage?

Well that's what writing a novel is like.You have a pretty good idea of what's going to happen, but you're still a little amazed (and surprised) at seeing it "for real."

You sit there and create a basic scenario, a couple of main characters...and then you just--go. At first you are in control, what happens is usually exactly what you expected. Then someone will show up, maybe they're in a gorilla mask...or something weird...and BAM! You're reduced to mere spectator. True, your fingers are doing the typing (or moving the pen) but it's all a shock to you. It's like these imaginary people all held a meeting while you were up getting coffee and were like, "Screw this guy, let's all go hold hands and build a sandcastle."

Or whatever.

This is both very rewarding and very scary. It doesn't always happen, but when it does you feel elated and terrified. I'm convinced that is how the biggies (you know who I'm talking about) consistently churn out those 800-1000+ page books. They don't set out to write 'em so big...they just sorta get a mind of their own--and grow huge!

I've been surprised every time I sit down to write for the past few days. The people I thought were going to take center stage aren't nearly as interesting as the "background" characters who I created just to move things along. A couple have pushed and shoved their way to the front of the pack. And it's interesting.

Normally, I'd fight it but because of the nature of NaNoWriMo, I've decided to let it go. Why not? My novel needs the side-plots to help flesh it out.

I used to worry that I didn't have enough "story" to make it to 50,000 words...and I didn't when I started. But novel writing is like rabbit farming--just wait and if you do it properly, you'll have more rabbits than you'll ever need (or want). I'm contemplating a 200-250 page total (in the end). This isn't an exact science, but I'm leaning in that upper direction (the days of me worrying about making 150 pages are over--today I crossed the 80 page mark and am nowhere near the end).

Anyway, I met and exceeded my word count. I'm sitting at 21,748 (nearly half-way to 50,000).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

NaNoWriMo Day 11 Wrap-Up

Well the second week has begun! I've neglected more than my blog writing duties, I must confess. The weekend came, and it suddenly got really, really hard to write. Friday was probably the low point...I met my word count (barely) but wasn't really looking forward to the next day. Saturday I got up early, banged out 800+ words...but stopped. This makes the first time I didn't make my word count. I'm okay though, I was about a day ahead when I stumbled. Today I woke up early and wrote. Then I wrote some more this after noon.

And a major milestone was reached--early I may add.

I reached the 20,000 word mark today. I wrote over 2,000 words (making up for my earlier slacking). All told, I'm still happy.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

NaNoWriMo Week 1 Wrap-Up

Okay, I'm going to keep this short (I'm sleepy). Overall, I'm pleased with both the quantity and quality of my novel. It's progressing at a nice rate, and I'm pleased to be slightly less than a day ahead of my word-count schedule. Currently I'm sitting just under 60 pages, with a total word count of 15,089.

This first week was cake.

I am concerned about the rest of the month. I just found out next week is the last week before Thanksgiving break. I'm worried about the third week when I'll be writing "on the road" in both KC and New Mexico. I also have the final weeks of college to deal with (including my last 2 college papers). Still, I've had a great run, and am cautiously optimistic.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sometimes you gotta keep going...

I couldn't let the first week end on such a weak note. I'm the sort of person who competes, but only with the one person who I truly fear--myself. Not to be outdone by myself, I wrote some more instead of going to bed. I finished an important scene I couldn't stop thinking about (never start something if you aren't prepared to finish it I always say).

I did good--2,330 words today. I cleared the 50 page mark (finally). Twenty more pages and this manuscript will officially be the longest thing I've ever written. Yay, go me.
Now I'm going to bed...

NaNoWriMo Day 7 Wrap-Up

Okay, end of the first week of this insanity...and I gotta admit--this shit is starting to get hard. I've been using the excuse of "my life" as to why it's gotten a bit harder to meet my daily goal...but the truth is more complicated. I have plenty of story left. I have plenty of drive. What I'm running low on is endurance. Coffee is helping...however I only have that home. The past two days in the library I've probably written 1,000 words. I sat there today for two hours and wrote two pages.

I don't think I'm going to drag my computer around UMSL anymore. It's heavy and for whatever reason, I'm not being productive at school. Since a majority of my writing seems to be done after dinner now, I'm going to embrace that (rather than try to fight it).

Anyway, I meet (and exceeded slightly) my daily word count--1,686 words. I finished Chapter 1 and started Chapter 2. Starting the new chapter is where I ran into some difficulty in the library. Once I got it going though (about a page and a half in) the sailing got smoother. Tomorrow should be easier. I could have kept going, but at this point I think I need to pace myself. Anyway, progress is being made--13,000 words total. Tomorrow I'll pass the 50 page mark. I'm tired, but excited.

It's Coming...

Secret to My Success

Ever wonder how I keep meeting my daily word count? Four words: "Jason's-Magic-Thinking-Juice"

How would YOU (yes, you!) Like a Save-the Dave Magnet?

Okay, well the wedding stuff is starting to move forward. It's really hard, what with the end of the semester looming. But we (and by that I mean "Leah") have been working hard and the invites are coming together.

Before we mail the invites, though, we have to send "save the date" notices. I'd never heard of these before, but they're like pre-invitations. Basically giving people a quick heads up to not plan anything on our wedding day. Leah wanted to do magnets after getting a Save the Date magnet from a friend. Rather than pay a company to make them for us, Leah and I worked together and made them ourselves (saving over $100).

Since Rusty can't go to the wedding, Leah decided to use him for the magnet. We're going to be mailing them out soon with our Graduation notices. If you want one (and aren't sure if you're on our list of good little boys and girls), shoot me an email.

Here's what it looks like:

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

NaNoWriMo Day 6 Wrap-Up

Today was the hardest day thus far. My life got in the way. I got half my word count done at school today a little after 12:00 noon. The rest (roughly 700 words) I literally just finished writing (nearly 10:30pm). Ugh. I got sidetracked by the Internet...and my friends...and a Happy Apple Leah bought me in the cafeteria.

When I got home I got sucked into ER (I got Leah season 1 for her b-day). After that and dinner I had to sit in the tub and read half of PUDD'NHEAD WILSON by Mark Twain (which thus far is actually really good) for tomorrow's class. Then I sat to write and there was this HUGE (seriously) bug on the ceiling over my side of the desk in the study...

But I met my word count (and then some). I got 1,704 words written today. My page count is 42...but the big news is my overall word count, because today I cleared 10,000 words! Yep, I'm at 11,333 words total.

The NaNoWriMo site is back up and working, so I updated my word count on my profile. I was happy to watch the little bar graph finally grow! Some of the people I talked to today scoffed at me (to say the least) but I'm trying not to let it get me down. I'm going to do this.


It used to be called Brontosaurus, but the species was accidentally named twice (and since the scientist who found it first called it Apatosarus, that's it's correct name). I drew it in American Fiction on Monday and colored it last night in Photoshop:

Monday, November 05, 2007

Razzberry M&M's=Good

If you see these (and like the idea of Raspberry flavored chocolate) pick these up, they are very tasty. Leah described them best--they task like those chocolate oranges (the raspberry ones).

Another day...another doodle...

This is what happens when I'm forced to go to Art History...

Before Photoshop: