Success!

Well, I did it. It’s 9:54 PM and I just hit the 50,000 word mark. Actually, I have 50,040 words written on my novel. It feels truly great having accomplished this. I honestly did not expect to make it to 50,000 words, or really even come close. This has been by far the longest story I have ever written.

Thanks first of all to my wife, who had to go to bed some many nights alone. Thanks for listening to my story ideas with such interest and enthusiasm.

Thanks all of you for your friendship and encouragement, especially all of you who stopped by every day to encourage me after my late night word count updates. It probably got kinda boring after a while.

What is next? Well, I have to finish draft one of this story. It’s not far from being done, as I’m at the climax of the story, but I need to wrap it up. I’m gonna take a few days off and then continue the story, though not at the 1667 words a night pace. Once draft one is done, I will do some editing and work towards a draft two. That is most certainly needed because I know I have some continuity and characterization problems.

After I’m happy with what I have I will need to get some people to read what I have, to see if it is worth trying to get published. I will not be able to judge this for myself. If it is good, but doesn’t get published I will either offer it as a download here or try to publish via Lulu. This is thinking way ahead.

So, again thank you all. Every day I wrote, and wanted to give up ,I thought of you all and how much you wanted to see me hit that word count. You kept me going.

I don’t know if I’ll ever do NaNoWriMo again. I’ve proven to myself I can do it. I guarantee I will try my hand at writing a novel again.

Good night!

PS I also have a funny Christmas story Miss Jane was nice enough to edit for me that I will be reposting in December.  Look for that soon.

48,775

It’s 11:30 PM and I am calling it a day at 48,775 words.  I could probably keep going, but I need some rest.  Barring a horrible setback, I’m going to actually finish this thing.  I can’t believe it.  My previous NaNoWriMo best was 14,000 words.  I never truly thought I would be this close.  I need to write 1225 words tomorrow.

Thank to everyone who commented on my previous post.  I read and appreciate all of your comments.  I will try to respond to them all tomorrow.  Thanks for letting me vent a little bit.

Good luck to all of you NaNoWriMo’ers.  You can do it!

Ignorance Sometimes is Bliss

My local newspaper has been running a series of stories about people in the area who are living “paycheck to paycheck”. People who are having a hard time in this economy. It has been a very good series, and I think these stories need to be out there, because the reality is even though the area is “booming” and housing prices are skyrocketing, not everyone is doing so well.

I typically read the newspaper at nights, right before I go to bed. Reading a physical copy of the newspaper is a solitary experience:you read an article, form your opinion on the article, and then move on to the next. With all this writing I have been doing, I have been instead reading these articles online. With the online version, you get to read other people’s comments, which whether you like it or not, can shape the experience of reading the article. I’m not so sure this is a good thing for me.

I have been reading all these touching stories about people who are just making ends meet, young people raising a young baby, both attending college while they fight to keep their heads above water. Words describing people who are struggling with gas costs, health care costs, loss of job, or whatever, but they keep fighting the good fight every day. These stories make me feel sad for the people in the article, but happy they keep trying.

Then I read what some of my neighbors have to say. Not much of it is pretty. You see your holier than though comments, your “my taxes shouldn’t be used to help people” comments, and your those people just want a handout comments. The anonymity of the internet can make people feel very brave I found, and they have not problem being outright rude, not caring how their words can hurt other people. The sad part is that on at least one occasion the people in the story read the comments and had to defend themselves there.  It sure makes you feel crappy about your community, I’ll tell you that.

I know what I should do.  I should just stick to the printed version of the paper and avoid all of these comments.  That is probably what I will do.  However, I just wish people would take a moment and put themselves in other people’s shoes.  They might not like what they see, but maybe they would understand.

Eye Had Troubles Today

Horrible pun in the subject line of this one. I’m sorry about that.  I am definitely feeling the fatigue of all this writing I have done.  It will be well worth it, I’m sure.

I hit my word count today, though I did have some troubles. First of all was the car, which killed my mood.  I got over that.  Next my right eye started bothering me at work, so much that I took out my contact lenses, but them in water (I had no proper solutions with me) and spent the rest of the workday blind.

That’s a nice formula for a headache all right. My right eye started to swell shut, but hopefully it will be better after a few days of wearing my glasses.  I almost gave up, but kept writing.

So it’s around 11:45 PM and I’m about to call it a night.  I’m at around 46,000 words with two days to go.  I think I can finish this thing.  I’m pretty sure I will be sweating it out to the end, though.

I’ll try not to complain so much tomorrow.

Can’t Ever Get Ahead

Do you all remember when I told you last month that I got a promotion at my day job? Well, this promotion came with a modest raise. Nothing huge, but probably enough to cover rising gas prices and health care cost increases. I get paid monthly, so I have yet to see this extra money. I get paid on Friday, so it will finally be there.

lemoncar.jpg

Well, the universe must have got wind of my upcoming windfall, because like it always happens, an extra cost came my way. I took my car in for inspection yesterday and they called me to let me know I will need new brakes. The cost is close to the amount (per month) of my raise. Do you ever get the feeling that you are running against current in a fast moving stream, never quite getting anywhere? Me too.

I guess I shouldn’t complain. At least I have a steady job and health benefits and all of that. Still, for once I would love to be able to hit the last week of the month and not have to ask my wife, “Could we please just buy the bare essentials for the week at the grocery store?” It’s no fun being that guy.

On the positive side, my wife drove me to work this morning and our daughter spotted her favorite thing in the morning sky: the moon. I used to correct her when she said “moon” (she says mun) during the day, but I have since learned to not question her. Those little ones notice things we do not and it is wise to pay attention to them.

Done “Early”

Well, it’s only 10:50 PM and I have hit my word count for today.  That leaves me at 45,080 words.  I could write a little ahead, but I think I’m gonna call it a night.  I might just do a little reading tonight.  Maybe pick up The Hobbit since writinggb mentioned it today.

The writing is going OK, though I doubt the story will be complete at 50,000 words.  I don’t really care, though.  I can always keep going next month (though certainly not at this pace) .

Goodnight all, and I will see you tomorrow .

A Day At the Museum

The day after Thanksgiving my wife, her dad, and I took my daughter to The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.  We had a lot of fun walking around and looking at all of the exhibits.  My daughter had a particular fun time playing with the train set they had.  Judging by the amount of kids lined up around it, I think everyone had fun with the trains.

The highlight of the trip, though was the WaterPlay floor.  Yep, an entire floor devoted to water.   When you first get there, they have little yellow rain slickers for the kids to wear and galoshes for their feet. My daughter’s slicker covered her entire body.  She was so cute shuffling her feet as she walked wearing that little rain coat.  They warned beforehand to have a change of clothes for the kids, but we decided to take our chances.  Below is a picture of the floor from the museum’s web site.

waterplay.jpg

The first thing we did is play in that pool of water floating the boats and making a whirlpool with the hand cranks.  She loved that.  This is when we noticed a little girl that was about my daughter’s age (1 1/2)  or a little younger being a little overzealous in the water, reaching just a bit too far down.  Her mom was watching, but I was closer.  Next thing you know, the little girl reached too far and was headed headfirst into the water.  I grabbed her just before she went in.  My good deed for the day I guess.

When we took our daughter’s rain slicker off her clothes were soaked.  We had no change of clothes so we improvised.  My wife took all of our daughter’s clothes off except for her diaper and we fashioned a “toga” out of one of her blankets.  We even had her say “toga, toga” like in the movie animal house.  It was pretty funny. While she was wearing her “toga” her grandfather and I dried her clothes using the wall of hand driers. Seriously, there was a wall of about thirty hand driers there for this purpose.

Anyhow, it was a fun trip and one of the highlights of my Thanksgiving.  See, I can write about something other than NaNoWriMo after all!

Another Late Night

Well, it’s just after midnight and I’ve finally met my quota for the day.  I’m at around 43,300 words right now.  I’m up so late for a couple of reasons.  For one, my daughter didn’t fall asleep until 10:00,which seems to be the new norm. Yay.  Secondly, I stopped briefly to watch the last two minutes of the Steelers game, in which they defeated the lowly Dolphins 3-0. Yes, that was the final score of an American Football game.  And they call soccer low scoring. Sheesh!

I hope all of you who wanted to read an excerpt enjoyed what I posted yesterday.

I don’t really feel tired right now, but I suppose I should go to sleep.  I have to wake at 6:30 tomorrow morning as usual.

NaNoWriMo Excerpt

Well, a few of you have asked for an excerpt from my NaNoWriMo project, so here it is. Again, this is the first novel I have ever attempted to write, and this is also a rough draft, so I apologize in advance for the quality (the first couple sentences here are particularly garbled, but I will work on that later).

This excerpt is from the “fun stuff” I was writing yesterday. The setup is as follows: Art, our hero, has been captured and Merlo the young wizard and a young fairy named Awi (the Gyro vendor from earlier in the story who seems to have taken a liking to Art) are off to rescue him. Here it is. I hope you enjoy.

They stopped at a small clearing in the woods, situated conveniently near a small stream.  Merlo had spied the two moss covered boulders at the edge of the water from afar, figuring it would be the perfect spot for the travelers to sit upon and rest their tired feet. Merlo cursed his luck.  He had been well on his way towards a great adventure with an up and coming young hero, only to find himself stuck traveling with an adolescent fairy.

Merlo sat formulating a plan for their eventual daring rescue of Art.  It would surely be out of character for Merlo, a wizard, to be the one rescuing Art, the hero , but Merlo felt up to the challenge.

.

Awi walked to the stream, filled two cups with water from the stream, and handed one to Merlo. She sat down beside him and said, “Can I kiss you?”

“What?” said Merlo, blushing as he nearly fell of his rock.

“Can I kiss you?” replied Awi.

“Why would you want to do that?” asked Merlo.

Awi remained quiet for a moment and then said, “Well, I’ve never kissed anyone before and I figure if I’m going to win Arthur’s heart I’m going to need to be able to kiss, right? So, can I kiss you?”

“Why don’t you just practice kissing your hand?” said Merlo, pining for the days when his biggest worry was whether or not he would end up in the mouth of their friend the man-eating giant. “That always works.”

“I’ve tried that,” said Awi. “I don’t think it’s quite the same. I need a real person. Please?”

“I’m way too old for you,” said Merlo, grasping for any excuse he could think of, going with the best excuse of the bunch. “Besides, what makes you think I have any experience either?”

“I don’t care if you have experience,” Awi said. “I’m worried about me.”

“No,” said Merlo.

“No one will know,” said Awi. “Besides, when you are a hundred years old, I’ll be ninety-two. It really isn’t that big of an age difference.”

“Yeah,” said Merlo. “But when I was ten you were only two. “ He didn’t want to hurt the girl’s feelings, but he wanted less to be the creepy old wizard.

Awi and Merlo sat for a while after that, neither one saying anything, though Awi kept turning and looking at Merlo. Finally Merlo had endured enough. “What?” he said.

“I think you should shave,” said Awi, pointing at Merlo’s chin.

“Why would I do that?” said Merlo, half proud that someone had noticed his facial hair and half annoyed that Awi was giving him grooming advice.

“Well, you said before that you haven’t had much experience in the kissing department so I figured you might want some help,” said Awi.

“I’m a wizard,” answered Merlo. “All great wizards have beards. It’s part of the uniform, if you will.”

“Well, I hate to tell you, but you would look much better without it,” said Awi. “Not many of the great wizards had very many dates, did they?”

“Thanks for the tip,” was all that Merlo said in response. She did have a point, though. Of all the wizards he had known, he had never heard of any of them having wives. Merlo had always thought it was because they were always too busy helping heroes on their quests, but he supposed it could have been because of their beards.