Tag Archives: short stories

Revising Meet the Larssons, Day 2: This Is Going To Take a While.

Today I started the “Manuscript Slog” portion of the Holly Lisle One-Pass Revision Process, which is just what it sounds like:  take page one of your manuscript, uncap your pen, and spread ink all over it until it is completely blue.  Pick up the next page and repeat until there’s nothing left.  I got through page 6 of the 500-page manuscript.  And I cut five of those 6 pages completely.  My self-imposed January 31, 2009 deadline feels a little optimistic at this point.

It sounds a little worse than it is.  I’ve known for a while that much of the first 20,000 words of this draft are more backstory than story, but it’s still a little sad.  If these pages are representative of the first (roughly) 75, it means that virtually all my first three weeks of writing will get cut — not just revised, but tossed completely.  I’ll salvage what I can, and maybe post some pictures once the manuscript starts to look really grotesque (which was one of Unfocused Girl’s spelling words for today’s test).

The thing about the One-Pass Revision Process is that it does not lend itself to working on the train, because you need to spread out with all your papers and whatnot.  What to do, what to do.  Yesterday, I wrote an 1,800 word short story between the train rides and lunch; I’m going to try to hold off revising it until I’m further along with MTL.  I mailed “Jimmies” off to a magazine, one of the pro markets that requires a hard copy submission, so I had to go to the post office near work, which is a pain now that it’s really freaking cold.  I’ve got another short story in revision mode that I want to let sit for a little while.

So what to do this morning?  Why, I started work on my next novel, of course.  Thanks for the suggestion, honey!  For the next novel, I’m trying Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method of outlining and planning a novel.  I know, I know; I’m now stuck using two different people’s methods or processes or whatever; maybe they work for these poeple, but that doesn’t mean they’ll work for me.  That’s why I’m trying them; if they don’t work, I’ll try something else.  Right now, I’m just in the outlining phase, so the worst thing that can happen even if I decide I hate outlining is that I start the actual writing of the novel better prepared than I would have been.

Breakfast with Santa tomorrow, which will be fun (even if the breakfast itself isn’t so hot).

Fall Sunday Stats #8: Long Weekend.

Miles run driven: 1610, round trip.  After a great Thanksgiving dinner with old friends, we spent most of Thanksgiving weekend in Brooklyn, in my old neighborhood.  Park Slope was on a gentrifying, yuppifying trend when I left in 1987, and it has continued on the same path since, which means it has MUCH better restaurants than when I left.

I am proud to say that even though the yuppie sports bar (which my little group of juvenile delinquents always called “The Fern Bar” in a tone that was positively dripping with disdain) is still open and was only a block from the apartment we rented, we didn’t eat there.  I remember swearing an oath in blood with several of my friends that we would never give The Fern Bar our custom, once we were 21 and old enough to get in.  I kept my part of the bargain.

Instead, I showed the kids the house I grew up in (from the outside), the pizza place I used to go to, and various places I used to hang out.  The kids put up with my blathering on about my childhood with good grace; they were just happy to see their grandpa and try a few new things.

Much to my daughter’s chagrin, she and Junior liked New York pizza a lot — perhaps even better than Chicago pizza, which caused me to laugh maniacally in the middle of the Smiling Pizzeria.  They liked the park and the little local bookstore with the feline-in-residence.  And the place that sold Smurfs back in the day now has entire walls covered with Thomas the Tank Engine products (I did find one Smurf on a shelf of unboxed figurines for sale; I think it was Sultry Smurf, but I’m not sure.  Mainly, they liked the big park.

On the last day before we left, we went into Manhattan to meet my mother; before we went uptown to the Museum of Natural History, the Mrs. suggested we take the kids to Forbidden Planet, the science fiction/comic book store where I used to blow all my free cash.  I didn’t argue, and Junior and I had a great time; Unfocused Girl was less impressed, although she ended up with some good stuff, including a Thor graphic novel (and since Junior can’t read, all the comics that he asks for end up inuring to her benefit, too).

I think they liked seeing where I grew up, even though they didn’t like the crowds and I rambled on a bit long a few times.  Probably the thing I said that caused the most consternation was my description of stickball, which we used to play in the street, since they know that if I caught them playing anything in the street, they would be in serious trouble.

How about the writing? I have finished my edits of “Jimmies,” and expect to submit it this week.  I plan to start revisions of Meet the Larssons, but I have (surprise) to go out of town for work for several days this week and may not get much done until the weekend.  Blah.

It’s Up!

Here’s the link to my story, “On the Job Training,” on 365 Tomorrows.  Enjoy!

Fall Sunday Stats #7: I Am Such a Wuss.

Today, izzums wuzzums me has a wittle cold, so I decided to be a complete baby and not run at all.  I had a difficult week, between travel and office work, so I was looking forward to my long run today.  Instead, I started to come down with a cold yesterday afternoon, and this morning I woke up with a full blown … stuffy nose, and a little scratchiness right at the back of my mouth, above my throat, if you know what I mean.  Ordinarily, I would ignore a little head cold and go for my run anyway — I read once that if your symptoms are all above the neck, you can run — but we’ve got plans for Thanksgiving, and I would prefer not to be miserably sick for the holiday, so I wimped out of my ten-mile run outside.  I could have had a run on my treadmill, but wasn’t in the mood, which probably says more about how I’m feeling than anything.  I’m a wimp.

What did I do all morning instead?  Let’s go to the stats.

How’s the running going? Ha.  Very funny.

What was playing on the iPod? Nothing this morning, and not much this week, since I didn’t run.  I did listen to EscapePod #181 (“Resistance”) and #183 (“Beans and Marbles”) and Adventures in SciFi Publishing #68 (Sally Malcolm).  The two EscapePod stories were very good; as a wannabe writer, I particularly liked “Beans and Marbles,” which is an excellent example of the unreliable narrator point of view.

What about the writing? I’m so glad you asked.  I started a new short story — I’ll call it “Jimmies,” for now — on the train Monday morning and this afternoon, after an 2,000-word binge, I finished it, at 5,678 words.  In some ways, I think this may be the best story I’ve ever written.  I haven’t re-read it, so I don’t know if it’s the best writing I’ve ever done, which is a completely different question.  It feels right, though.  We’ll see how the revisions go.

It’s been a pretty good week for my fledging avocation as a writer:  one acceptance, one rejection (and that story turned around and sent back out), and the first draft of “Jimmies” started and finished, with time left to revise it and “Babel” (the story I finished last week) before my self-imposed December 1 deadline to start the revisions on Meet the Larssons.

My plans for blogging didn’t work out too well.  I’ll try to get the post about the puppy, at least, up before the holiday.

Finally, I want to wish all of you Wrimos out there good luck with the final week of NaNoWriMo.  Keep those word counts up!

One Acceptance, and Another Rejection.

So yes, I now have one acceptance up on the Short Story Submissions Scorecard.  I’m not getting paid for it — it’s a web-only market and except for a handful of ads on the sidebar, non-commercial — but it’s a flash story only 599 words long, so I don’t feel like I worked too hard not to get paid.

I picked up the acceptance email on my Blackberry while I was in the back of a taxi in Los Angeles, stuck in traffic, so it was not an opportune time to do the happy dance.  In fact, since I’ve been back I’ve been too busy to do the happy dance at all.  Hang on just a sec.

There, that’s better.

I did email & call Mrs. Unfocused, and there might have been maniacal cackling; I don’t recall.  I can’t wait for it to go up on the site, but I have no idea when that will happen.  When it does, I’ll post a link, anonimity be damned.  I want to drive as much traffic to it as I can.  Until then, I’m not going to say who accepted it, because I don’t want to jinx it.

I sent one of my rejected stories out again the night I got home, and was able to add to my usual cover email, “My story ‘On the Job Training’ was recently accepted by…” which sounds great, but didn’t change the result — the story was rejected 11 hours later.

Quick Update from the Road.

I’m traveling today, but when I get home in the morning I’d better send that story that was rejected a couple of weeks ago back out, because (*cough cough submission scorecard on the sidebar cough cough*) I no longer have any short story submissions pending.

W00t!

Fall Sunday Stats #6: Enough About the Election. Let’s Talk About Me.

I’ve been jammed at work the last couple of weeks, and haven’t had the time or inclination to post.  Finally, Mrs. Unfocused suggested that maybe I wouldn’t be so darn grouchy if I got back to writing.  A few days ago I started working again on the short story I began in late October and my mood improved, so last night she told me it was time to post on the blog.

Yes, dear.  Nothing like being insufferable to motivate your loved ones to remind you about your hobbies.

Thank God, the election is over.  The right guy won — hell, we all won, didn’t we? — and now I can stop biting my nails and thinking about big issues and go back to being completely self-involved.  With that in mind, let’s get to the stats.  I’ll try to cover the last two weeks, since I know you’re curious.

How’s the running going? Not badly.  Today was a little slow:  10.19 miles in 1:31:55, a 9:01 pace, although that includes 2-3 minutes spent for a bathroom break at a Starbucks along the way (yeah, I know, TMI; the runners understand).  Last Sunday was better:  10.07 miles in 1:24:22, an 8:22 pace.  Both days were cold — it had just climbed above freezing when I started my run this morning, and it wasn’t much warmer last week — and I’ve been running into a headwind during the second half of these runs, which isn’t any fun.  I have good winter gear, but there are going to be plenty of days from now until spring when it’s going to be too cold or snowy or icy to run outside, which is why I’m so glad that we finally bought ourselves a treadmill.  We moved into this house six years ago, and I finally wore Mrs. Unfocused down to the point that she thinks it was her idea, so she did the work of finding a used NordicTrack Apex 8000 on Craigslist last Sunday.  I checked it out on Monday, bought it and got it moved that night (before she could change her mind), and used it for the first time on Tuesday morning.  It’s not super-fancy, but it has all the basics and a few frills, and most importantly, a 3.0 continuous horsepower motor, which keeps it moving smoothly.  So far, it’s been great.

What’s been playing on the iPod? During today’s run, I listened to:  Phedippidations #161 (Gifts for the Holiday Runner, hint hint honey); Accident Hash #278 (Blame Chance); Escapepod #183 (Beans and Marbles).  I didn’t finish the Escapepod episode — the cold weather kills the battery on my iPod even when I wear it under my jacket, and it died about 10 minutes before I finished my run.  Since my last post, I’ve also listened to:  Adventures in SciFi Publishing #66 (Elizabeth Bear and Tobias Buckell) and #67 (Tobias Buckell — I’m going to have to read something by Tobias Buckell soon, it seems like the guy is everywhere); Metatropolis (edited by John Scalzi, with stories by Scalzi, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Bear, Karl Schroeder, and — believe it or not — Tobias Buckell; I’ve only heard the Jay Lake story, which is pretty damn good, so I’m looking forward to the rest of it); I Should Be Writing #104 (Interview with Benjamin Rosenbaum); and The Takeover #7 (The Office Romance, Part 2).

I have two favors to ask in connection with the iPod; please leave any suggestions in the comments.  First, let me know what you use to listen to your iPod when you’re running or exercising — the standard issue earbuds, or something else?  I have a pair of nice noise-cancelling headphones I use for airplanes, but for running this year I’ve been using Sony MDR-A35 phones, which insert into the ear like earbuds but go over the head like headphones. They’ve been fine but they’re unusable during a Chicago winter — if I put them over my hat, I have to leave my ears exposed to the cold in order to hear anything, but if I put them under my hat, the hat pushes them into my ears hard enough to hurt.  The last two weeks I’ve been wearing the earbuds that come with the iPod, and they just don’t fit; I had to take off my gloves half a dozen times during my run this morning just to put the left piece back into my ear (the right one didn’t fall out at all).  If you wear an iPod while you run or exercise and you have a solution for this, PLEASE let me know.  Don’t force me to run with nothing but the voices in my head to keep me company.

And speaking of company, if you listen to any interesting podcasts that you want to recommend, please feel free.  I’m particularly interested in podcasts about running, writing, indie music that doesn’t sound like bad imitations of the heavy metal bands I listened to in 1985, and podcast fiction.  I don’t have vast amounts of time to listen to podcasts, but I’d like a little more variety.  If you’ve got a suggestion, please let me know.

What about the writing? Of course, the writing.  Since Fall Sunday Stats #5 two weeks ago, I put another 2,500 words into the short story I was working on (almost all of it in the last four days) and finished the first draft.  The Mrs. liked it, which soothes my ego and means it gets an immediate first pass edit.  I want it in shape to send out by the end of the month.  One of the short stories I sent out came back with a form rejection on October 30, and I’m going to send it out to another market sometime this week; I have only one story out on submission until I do, which strikes me as inadequate.  I have another short story sketched out, and I’d like to get a draft of that done by the end of the month; if it isn’t done by November 30, it will have to get back-burnered, because I’m going to start the revision of Meet the Larssons by December 1 (if not over the Thanksgiving weekend).  I’ve left MTL alone long enough; I’ve got some distance, and it’s time to get back to work on the novel.

I’ll try to be a little more regular about posting, especially since my one year anniversary is coming up on December 17.  In future posts, I’ll share my suggestion for the Obamas’ puppy, host (maybe) a contest, and (of course) kvetch about not getting enough writing or running done.

Fall (?) Sunday Stats #2: Training Matters, and Did I Mention I Finished the First Draft of My Novel?

It’s 80 degrees at 4pm.  How is it fall?  In a few minutes, I’m going to go out and mow our front lawn, which is still green and growing in October for the first time in the six years we’ve lived in this house.  Thank the rain we had in August and September, I guess, because it sure wasn’t anything I did to keep the grass growing.

The lawn appears to be the only damn thing that is growing, of course.  I managed to stay fairly calm about the economy until Monday, when the excrement really started to hit the artificial wind machine, and when I listened to This American Life’s Another Frightening Show About the Economy.  This podcast provides a really good explanation of credit default swaps and the freezing of the debt markets.  The explanation is a little too clear, if you ask me; it left me in a state of near-paralytic dread.  I’ve managed to remain rational, at least so far.  I haven’t been able to convince myself to rebalance our retirement accounts to buy into the declining markets, however, even though I think that’s what we ought to be doing.

Miles run today:  13.1, for the third annual World Wide Half Marathon, part of the World Wide Festival of Races.  It was a beautiful day, sunny but too hot for a long run (and if I thought it was bad, pity the poor folks running the Chicago Marathon).  Still, I’m not going to complain about the weather on what could be the last really nice weekend until spring.

The World Wide Festival of Races is a virtual race series — the third running of the World Wide Half Marathon, the second running of the Kick the Couch 5K, and the first Zen Run 10K.  It’s led by Steve Runner of the Phedippidations podcast, and his co-race directors (whose names are impossible to find on the website).  It’s the easiest race you’ll ever run, logistically.  You sign up in advance.  You commit to run one of the distances on or about the assigned weekend.  Maybe you join a virtual race team.  You decide on your own route — maybe as part of an organized race, maybe not — and then you run it, and upload your results.

My race route itself was nothing special — my ordinary out-and-back to the lake front path, plus a couple of miles on the path itself.  There was a little extra poignancy to the run because yesterday was the 10th anniversary of my first marathon, and the marathon itself was in progress just a few blocks south of my own route.

As a race, my World Wide Half was, to put it mildly, a disaster.  I haven’t been for a run since my close encounter with a car wheel more than two weeks ago, and I’ve been even more sedentary than that would ordinarily mean because of the 1630-mile road trip to the Catskills we took last weekend to go to a wedding, and the push to finish Meet the Larssons.

Oh, by the way, in case you missed it, I finished the first draft of MTL.  More on that in a bit.

Back to the race.  Two weeks off, eating more junk than usual, sitting on my tucus for hours on end, left my legs and back muscles flabby and my tendons and ligaments tight.  I ached all the way through the run, and developed a massive blister on my right foot.  My finishing time was 2:09:48, which is 24 minutes slower than my time for the tempest-tossed Chicago Half Marathon.  I still hurt, six hours (and two Aleve) after I finished.  By comparison, I was well-trained for the Chicago Half and in pretty good shape, so the downpour barely affected my time.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad I didn’t skip the race today.  I run alone all year, and one of the things I like best about the World Wide Festival of Races is knowing that there are hundreds of other people running alone, and we’re all running together.

What I listened to during the run:  Phedippidations #156 (“Cheers from a Little Blue Bubble,” the annual episode of cheers and shouts of encouragement to World Wide Half participants); I Should Be Writing #102, and Adventures in SciFi Publishing #53.

Writing this week since my last Sunday Stats:  6,531 words (net) of Meet the Larssons, including “THE END” on Wednesday night.  I actually wrote 8,737 words, but I cut a 2,206 word scene as I went.   To finish the draft, I did my usual writing on the train to and from work, plus several binges at home and even in the car on the drive back from the wedding.  Despite my intent to leave the draft alone for at least a month, I’ve been reading Hooked, by Les Edgerton, which has given me a good idea for a new opening scene for the second draft, and a couple of other ideas as well.  I have made notes, but so far have refrained from going back to it.  A commenter here recommended this book to me several months ago; I’m too lazy to search out that post so I can give you proper credit, but thanks.

I took Unfocused Girl to a birthday party out in the ‘burbs yesterday afternoon, and spent the time up the street at Starbucks working on “Secretary-General,” the short story I started a little over a month ago then put aside to finish MTL.  I cut 500 words out of it as I re-read what I’d done, then wrote around 350 words.  I want to finish this story, polish it up, and submit it before I get back to MTL.

I’d also like to hash out one or two-page treatments of three different ideas I have for my next novel.  They’re very different, and I’m not sure what I want to work on next.  I figure that writing them out in a more extended form than the one-sentence summaries I have now will help me decide.

Right before we left for the wedding, TTB was rejected by the most recent outlet I’d submitted it to.  The night I finished MTL, I submitted TTB to another e-zine, one I had only recently come across and which seems to be looking for this kind of fiction.  We’ll see.

In other writing news, Unfocused Girl would like to announce that she has also just finished her book, The Adventure Friends and the Sword of Destiny.  It’s contemporary urban fantasy about four friends who go on a quest, find a magical object, meet a guiding spirit, discover special powers within themselves, rescue a friend, and fight their evil nemesis, all with the goal of bringing peace to their elementary school.  Yay, Unfocused us!

TMI.

I have two stories out on submission right now, to two different markets.  I sent “Dear Mr. President” out at the end of July to an online magazine; its submission guidelines say that writers should not expect a response for at least three months.  I hardly think about this story at all; I’ll start wondering about it if I don’t have a response in another month or so.

I sent TTB to a different market.  This outlet does not provide any guideline for response time; instead, it provides detailed statistics, like Duotrope, but counting every single submission and response.  I can check the numbers, and see that for short story submissions, they sent their most recent response on Sunday of last week, and the earliest story submitted that has not yet been rejected or accepted was submitted back in June; the average time for a rejection is just over a week, but the average time for acceptance is four months.

If I hit REFRESH, maybe the statistics will update.  Not this time, at least, not for responses, but four more short stories have been submitted since the last time I checked!  More competition!  Arg!

This is ridiculous.  When the editor has reviewed my story, and has made a decision about my story, I’ll get an email.  Finding out when the last response was sent out to someone doesn’t tell me anything, because if I don’t have an email, then it wasn’t sent to me.

REFRESH.  Nothing.  Crap.

Thanks for the detailed statistics.  In addition to getting me to push that damn button like a lab rat trying for cheese, those numbers have given me something worse than a jammed right index finger (REFRESH – ow!):  hope.  See, the average rejection time is just over a week.  The editor has had TTB for 24 days.  So is TTB an outlier?  So damn long that it takes a while to turn it down?  Or is it possible that it’s been shortlisted, and weighed against the other stories coming in?

REFRESH.  Ow.  Nothing.  Crap.

Summer Sunday Stats #5: Marathon or NaNo?

Summer Sunday Stats for today — only one more weekend to go before I’m doing Fall Sunday Stats.  Depressing thought.

Miles run:  12.19 in 1:37:11.  It was the same run as last weekend, but oh, so much better.  The training is starting to pay off, I got more sleep on Saturday night, and I had time to eat breakfast before my run.  My left hamstring started to ache at about mile 8, and my right hip bothered me a bit starting around mile 9, but they slowed me down much less than I would have expected, and the ice bath I take after these long runs goes a long way to dealing with the little aches and pains.  Yes, I said ice bath.  Try it, you’ll stop screaming eventually.

Only one more week until the Chicago Half Marathon, and I’m feeling like maybe it won’t be a complete disaster.  Even if I don’t finish with a better time than I did last year, if it feels less like a death march, I’ll be happy.

Weather:  beautiful, sunny, not too warm.  Can’t beat Chicago in September.

What I was listening to on my iPod:  Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing #59 (Clarion Graudates), and Phedippidations #151 (Starting a Beatless Heart).  I only started listening to AISFP in the last few weeks, and so far, I like what I hear.  Shawn and Sam get some great interviews with well-known writers as well as up-and-comers, like the graduates of this summer’s Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop.  I always wanted to do Clarion when I was writing science fiction in high school and college.  Obviously, I’m not in a position now to drop everything and go to San Diego for six weeks; I’d do better to find a local critique group of people I enjoy working with.  I attended one meeting of a crit group a few months ago, but I’ve been traveling so much I haven’t been able to go back.  I’m not sure that group is for me, anyway; it just didn’t click.  I should probably look for another one.  I might do better with an online crit group, too; I’m not really excited about another thing that gets me home late and causes me to miss the kids’ bedtime.

Happily, Steve Runner, the host of Phedippidations, has decided to go back to a weekly schedule after several months of only podcasting once every three weeks or so.  Fdip was the first podcast I ever subscribed to, and Steve has been a great running buddy, even though we’ve never met.  I’m glad he’s back at it on a regular schedule.

Words written of Meet the Larssons:  1402.  Certainly an improvement over last week, but here’s the problem:  while I wrote 1402 words of MTL, I wrote 3902 words of “Secretary-General,” the short story I started 10 days ago.  I need to be better disciplined about this.  I’ve decided I have to — have to — finish the first draft of the novel by Halloween, for any number of reasons, from needing to end it so I can put it down for a while and come back to the revision process fresh, to the fact that I’m starting to lose track of the plot because I’ve been working on it for so long, to wanting to possibly do NaNo this year (more on that in a moment).  If I’m going to get MTL put to bed in seven weeks, I need to put other writing projects away and not create any new ones.  Any bright, shiny ideas that come to me in the next seven weeks will get put into a box labeled “Do Not Open Until November 1.”  They can come out to play then.  SG is temptingly close to finished, but it isn’t coming out the way I wanted it, anyway, so I’m going to put it aside until after Nov. 1 (after Nov. 30, if I end up doing NaNo).  A few days ago, my daughter and I realized that she was reading five books at the same time (four novels, one math book); I told her she could do what she liked, but she might get more out of them if she finished a couple before she added any new ones to the mix.  She finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban this afternoon, and has been making good progress on a couple of the others without starting anything new, so I guess she took my advice.  I should do the same with what I’m writing.

Marathon or NaNoWriMo?  That is the question.  I had no plans to run a marathon this year; instead, I started the New Year planning to enter NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month — in November, after having worked on my writing chops by starting this blog and writing a couple of short stories.  Instead,  I’ve written two short stories and gotten nearly 90,000 words into a novel, which I will finish before NaNo starts on November 1.

At the same time, I’ve been running better than I expected this year.  I managed to keep my long runs going — not perfectly consistently, but well enough — through the spring and summer, and now I’m heading into the fall with a pretty good base.  I would still just be thinking about the Chicago Half Marathon next weekend and the World Wide Half Marathon in October, since there’s no way I’d be ready for an October marathon (Chicago or Milwaukee), but then I found out about the new marathon in the beach town where we spend our summer vacation.  It isn’t until the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and instead of the craziness of the Chicago Marathon, this would be a small, friendly race; Mrs. Unfocused and the kids would be able to see me at different points of the race without having to wonder if they missed me in the crowd, and I’d be able to see them.  I’ve never traveled for a race before, but the whole family could go, and we’d have a place to stay.

But, but, but.  It would mean missing several days of work just for travel, and having to decide whether to rush home to be in the office for Thanksgiving week or just blowing it off and staying at the beach for some or all of the week.  Even if I could swing it, I’m just not sure I should.

And finally, I think the two things are mutually exclusive.  If I decide to do the marathon, November will be almost all taper, so it isn’t that the running would interfere so much with the writing.  Instead, it would be the travel and the associated stress. I don’t think I could possibly crank out 1700 words a day for the month if I’ve got an out-of-town marathon scheduled.

Plus, I know what I’m like in the weeks before a marathon — I’m a paranoid, hypochondriacal wreck, obsessing about every bruise, bump, sniffle, or twinge.  The weeks before a marathon are not a fun time to be Mrs. Unfocused.  From what I’ve read about other people’s experiences with NaNo, there are certain similarities — the NaNo participant becomes obsessive about the writing, muttering about the novel, failing to provide any domestic assistance, sleeping only fitfully, etc., etc.  Again, not a fun time to be Mrs. Unfocused.  I have no desire to be kicked out of the house and forced to move into the YMCA for being a self-absorbed, germophobic, hypochondriac chained to my laptop who never sleeps and constantly talks about people who don’t exist; that’s not a bad description of me now, and if it got worse, she’d be well within her rights to change the locks.

I’ve finished four Chicago Marathons (started a fifth, but had to drop out due to injury).  I’ve never done NaNoWriMo, but the point of NaNo is to get you off your butt and make you write; I’m writing now.

So, marathon or NaNo?  I haven’t decided yet; I think I still have a few weeks.  But it isn’t going to be easy.