Monthly Archives: November 2009

Final NaNoWriMo Update: 51,324 Words.

I uploaded and validated my final numbers to the NaNoWriMo site today, and the gnomes in Oakland tell me that the total is 51,324.  Here it is on a bar graph, just to drive the point home:

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 30:

51324 / 50000 words. 103% done!

That’s right, baby, I gave it 103 percent!  As promised, I sent the draft so far (minus the spoilerrific notes at the end) to the Siren — I actually loaded it onto her Kindle for ease of use.  Let me say that again: my novel (so far) is on a Kindle, just like Stephen King!

Yeah, yeah, I know. Let me have my moment, OK?

I’m already sad NaNo is over, but I’m getting slammed at work so it’s just as well.  I’ll try to recap later in the week.  Meanwhile, go check out what the Siren’s cooking up for NaCoBakMo today.

NaNoWriMo Day 29, 50,570 Words and Post-NaNoWrimo Victory Update.

The first thing I did this morning was 15 minutes of Write or Die Desktop Edition, and quickly knocked out 448 words for the novel.  I added a sentence here or there later in the morning, for a total of 535 more words for the novel.  Since I WON NANOWRIMO YESTERDAY, the pressure is off, and I had a bunch of other things I wanted/needed to do today.  Here, in no particular order, are some of the things that occupied my time today besides working on my novel:

  • Ran 6.39 miles very slowly (1:04:04).  It was my first run since Nov. 17, and my longest since Oct. 25. I lost a lot of speed (and muscle) in the month spent in front of the computer every waking moment, and it will take a little while to get it back.
  • Read a little of the Sunday New York Times for the first time in mumble mumble.
  • Worked. I’ve got a lot going on at the office (and out of town) between now and Christmas.
  • Went to lunch with the Siren and the kids at the diner for the first time in weeks.
  • Played Sorry with the kids while the Siren went to the supermarket to buy more butter, flour, and sugar for NaCoBakMo.
  • Went to the supermarket after the Sorry game to pick up the dishwasher detergent that the Siren forgot so she could focus on baking cookies.
  • Worked some more.
  • Listened to Christmas music. The Hanukkah music comes later, closer to the holiday itself, because there isn’t as much of it that I like.
  • Ate some cookies before dinner.
  • Listened to the first episode of The Cinnamon Bear with the family during dinner.
  • Ate some more cookies for dessert.
  • Got the kids to bed.
  • Worked more.
  • Had one last cookie.
  • Paid our property taxes.
  • Told the kids to go back to bed.

As much as I enjoyed NaNoWriMo, and I did, it’s good to be able to do a few other things, too.

IMPORTANT: You may have noticed my references to NaCoBakMo and eating cookies, lots of delicious cookies.  The love of my life, the Green-Eyed Siren, has started the first ever National Cookie Baking Month to raise money for our neighborhood anti-hunger charity, the Irving Park Community Food Pantry.  You can read about Day 1 here, and Day 2 here.  She’s baking cookies every day from now through Christmas Eve, and will send a batch to everyone who donates $25 to the IPCFP before then and emails her the receipt. Please participate so that I don’t end up eating all of these cookies myself.  To encourage you further (although if you’ve ever tasted the Siren’s cooking, you would need no further incentive), we’ll match the first $500 in donations.  Get off my blog and over to hers to read the details and see pictures of the delectable dainties as she makes them.

FINALLY, I leave you with The NaNoWriMo Song, because it’s awesome:

NaNoWriMo Update: In Which I Totally Kick Ass.

I win! My winning word count, as verified by the word-counting gnomes at NaNoWriMo headquarters in Oakland, California is 50,073.  Here it is in bar graph form:

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 28:

50073 / 50000 words. 100% done!

So, to be clear: Me. Winner.  I have already performed the butt-shaking victory dance for the children, so you know it’s official.

I’m going to get more written tomorrow and Monday before the deadline, so this is not my final total word count, but the pressure is off, and I have more real work to do.  I’m already thinking about my goals for December, with the ultimate goal of finishing the first draft (which I expect to be around 80-90,000 words) by the end of January.  Sometime next week I’ll try to post my thoughts on the whole experience while they’re still fresh, but as my podcasting Canadian writing buddy John Mierau tweeted the other day, the best part of NaNoWriMo has been writing like the professionals do, planting our butts in our seats in front of our keyboards, day in, day out, whether we felt like it or not, and getting the story written.

For now, though, there’s a turkey on the grill and a bottle of good champagne we scored at a silent auction years ago in the fridge.  Not to mention a new batch of cookies fresh out of the oven.

NaNoWriMo Update: T-910 Words!

Way too pumped to write much of a post here, but my total NaNoWriMo word count is now at a massive, artery-clogging 49,090.  Let’s see how this looks on a bar graph, shall we:

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 28:

49090 / 50000 words. 98% done!

Yes, that’s 98% done! Despite the occasional tickle fight, shouts of “Figgy pudding!” (the funniest phrase in the English language), helping Junior a little with his train set, and helping Unfocused Girl clean up her box of beads after I accidentally walked into it (oops), I knocked out just under 3,000 words today — for a total of 49,090, did I mention that? — and now have less than 1,000 words to go before I can declare myself a winner and do the dance of TOTAL VICTORY!

Excuse me, I need a moment.

Thank you.  I have also started considering the possibility of post-NaNoWriMo let down.  What will I do when I no longer have my time filled by generating 2000-3000 words of fiction almost single day?  How will I deal with the adrenaline crash?  I suspect everyone has their own way of coping after NaNo ends.  Me, I suspect I will handle it by eating cookies.

As if our December wasn’t going to be crazy enough, the Siren is back to her blog with a plan that makes NaNoWriMo look positively sedate.  Mmm, tasty, tasty insanity.

NaNoWriMo and Word Count Update: 46,119.

A productive day: 3300 words, plus a work call and a nap. I’m rounding third and heading for home:

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 27:

46119 / 50000 words. 92% done!

NaNoWriMo Update & Word Count, Day 26: 42,760.

We were invited to the home of some good friends for a merging of the families for Thanksgiving dinner, and thus had very little to do in advance.  Despite minor distractions from the Macy’s parade on TV and changing batteries in Junior’s Geotrax train set, I managed 2000 words, to get me to a very respectable total, just a few hundred words behind pace:

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 26:

42760 / 50000 words. 86% done!

Careening towards 50,000 words and the end of NaNoWriMo, although nowhere near done with the first draft, which I figure will come out to 80-90K in the end.

We had a very relaxed Thanksgiving, in pajamas until 1pm then got dressed and joined our friends for a ridiculously immoderate feast.  We finally left around 11pm because the kids cracked and admitted they were tired.

Hope your Thanksgiving was as good, or for those outside the U.S., hope you had a wonderful Thursday.

NaNoWriMo Update and Word Count, Day 20: 31,148.

On Thursday, while I was out of town, the Siren was called to Unfocused Girl’s school to pick her up; she had a fever and chills.  The pediatrician finally diagnosed H1N1 over the phone at 2:15 Friday morning based on her symptoms. She was a little better on Friday — at least the vomiting had stopped and the fever was under some kind of control — but when I got home Friday evening with a stack of comic books I’d picked up from a store near the Des Moines airport, she was too wiped out to read them.  She slept through the night, though, and this morning came downstairs for breakfast and asked to go to taekwondo (the answer was no, BTW). I think she’s already read all the comics.

National Novel Writing Month is two-thirds over, and for the first time all month, I’m significantly behind.  I started Week Three with a sizable margin; I was 2,000 words ahead of pace by Monday night.  I did manage to get around 1,300 words written on Tuesday, but it was a 14-hour day and completely wiped me out.  Wednesday morning I was up early and hit the road, driving a hundred miles west for a hearing, then back straight to O’Hare to fly to Iowa for depositions.

Wednesday and Thursday were also 14-15 hour days.  I managed a 15-minute word sprint each day, 300-400 words, so that I wouldn’t lose all of my momentum, but that was all the time I could steal.  Friday wasn’t quite as long, but I was so wiped out that I fell asleep on the plane after about 200 words, the last of which was the letter r typed 699 times.  When I got home and we got the kids to bed, I faceplanted onto the kitchen counter in front of the open laptop, and finally the Siren was able to convince me to go to bed.

At the end of Friday night, I was 2,148 words behind; the furthest behind I’ve been before this was just a few hundred words at the end of week two, and I was totally caught up, even a little ahead, by the end of Saturday.  Since I would have to write 3,852 words today to be caught up at the end of the day today, I don’t think that’s going to happen.  If I can catch up by Sunday night I’ll be delighted but very surprised.  My guess it that it will be Monday or Tuesday before I’m all the way back on pace.  If you’re interested in a word war, either using Write or Die Desktop Edition or just on Twitter, email or DM me on Twitter and we’ll set it up; I could use the help.

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 20:

31148 / 50000 words. 62% done!

If you’re in the area of the Des Moines airport and you have time or need for a comfortable internet cafe and/or comic book store, I enthusiastically recommend Cup o’ Kryptonite. Comfy couches, wifi, some connected desktop computers, a decent comic selection and helpful, friendly staff.