Nan06:29

Current word count: 49,534

Down to the wire. 

I’m not sure when NaNoWriMo “officially” closes shop and counts the tally, but I think I have some time.  It is, after all, not yet 1:00PM on the 29th (EST). 

I’m close to having the story done, as well, ie, there’s not a whole lot else to write about.  Five hundred words?  Maybe.  I’d like to get at least a couple of hundred beyond that, since Microsoft Word’s word count function isn’t always the most accurate thing in the world.

The point now is to complete the task.  December, I may use to go back and nurse the story back to health.  I owe it that.

I also had a strange dream last night, which might be the beginning of another story.  The problem with dreams, though, is that they’re pretty ephemeral; they evaporate when examined too closely.  I dreamed what I thought was the first paragraph of Nan06 and I never used it.  (Which means it’s still there.)

I keep hearing Saga’s mother’s song in my head.  I wonder if there’s a soundtrack album, though anime CDs tend to be way expensive.

Back to work… 

UPDATE: It’s now 11:30PM on the 29th. 

I’ve submitted my text file to NaNoWriMo. Waited a moment to see what they had to say.

Current word count: 51,295

So…I won.  Sigh.

I crossed the finish line.  And I feel…well, that isn’t important.  I’m more depressed than triumphant.  Of course, I’m always depressed, but that’s not the point!  The point is, after all, in the box.  With the beast.

So…

I want to thank, first and foremost, the story.  I abused it.  I fattened it up and stretched it out beyond all reason.

But it believed in me, and stayed by me, and helped me out.  It forgave me.  It looked into my soul and said, “Okay.  This one time.”

Thank you, story.  Thank you so much.

Secondly, but only secondly by a hair, I want to thank my writing buddies.

Filthy Rotten Angel, Henry Brennan, Ghost Rose, Cullen W.W. Waters

You’re all the best ever.  Wordcount doesn’t matter.  Honestly, it never does.

Friendship, encouragement, the laugh in the face of death–those are the things that matter, and for which I thank you all.  (Musical sting) I love you guys. (Musical sting.)

I’d never have gone this far without you.  You’re all wonderful and I thank you, I thank you so much.

Next, I want to thank Rex, Dr. Sebrell, the Jericho Project, Dr. Howell, Beth Leyton, Mr. Denby and Jessica.  Thanks for putting up with my second-rate chronicle of your lives.

Finally, I want to thank Sugar, Saga, Greta, Pepper and the rest who kept me sane.  The new crew is Sister Rosetta and Chrono, and yeah, you’ll hear all about them.  And yes, I heard that.

Love to you all.  Young people of the Earth…you’re beautiful.  As an enigmatic billionaire, I can say that!

Love, everyone.

Nan06:28

Current word count: 46,160

It’s nearly noon, so I have about two and a half days to go, in which to write nearly four thousand words.  I feel I can probably do it.  Hell, if I wanted to, I’d just pound out page after page of nothing just to reach wordcount. 

“I went to the telephone book to look up names.  Aaberg, Philip.  Abelard, Peter…” and so on, five thousand words later, until “Zoidberg, Doctor.  Gee, it seemed none of these names would help me!  Gosharootie!” 

I guess I respect the story, and my characters, too much to do that, though.  (Though I would like to work in “gosharootie” somehow.)

Later:  Now it’s a bit after 10:30PM.  Current word count: 47,044.

If I can keep going, maybe get to the 47.5 mark tonight, I may have a chance to crack the finishing line on Thursday.

Later still:  Well, I didn’t make 47.5K.  Instead, my current word count is 48,248.

Thank you, story.  I owe it all to you, and thank you for your forgiving nature. 

I will make it up to you.  That’s my promise.

Nan06:27

Current word count: 45,575

Working on the story has become just that–work.  Well, if I particpate in next year’s event, and I’m seriously doubting I will, I’ll know I need to choose a story that has a certain sweep to it, so I can start out with a big canvas and scale down if I need to. 

This year I started with a tiny canvas and filled it pretty quickly.  It has been rather discouraging.

Tonight, though, I’ve done some actual writing, rather than re-writing, and it went well.  This was pretty surprising.  I was pretty sure the story hated me, so I was glad to have some cooperation.  It was nice.  Some good stuff popped out.  Thank you, story.

Finished “Sugar, A Little Snow Fairy” and I was prepared for a knock-down, drag-out tear-fest.  So it didn’t affect me that much.   Less than I expected, to be honest.  I was expecting to be devestated because, if I may borrow the phrase, I am a cupcake. 

Everyone did well, and yes, Greta did the right thing in her own way.  As I always knew she would.  And we got a pretty good glimpse of Sugar’s mommy.

And like Saga, I waited until Sugar was happy before I cried my damned eyes out.

I am such a cupcake, it isn’t even funny.  Actually, though, on reflection, I guess I’m a waffo.

Oh, I should note.  Still sick.  Physically.  Mentally, I don’t think there’s any hope.

Nan06:26

Current word count: 43,733

I wonder when the standard unit of measurement for illness became the dog.  No matter, I am certainly as sick as one, and have been since yesterday afternoon.  Hence the rather low word-count.

Truth to tell, though, I’ve been avoiding the story all day.  Not because I don’t like it–no, I think it’s a really great story.  I just don’t like what I’m doing to it to make 50,000 words out of it.

To go into more detail (hey, I heard that!), I’ve been doing mostly re-writing since last week, since I’m stuck on a pivotal scene.  But what I’ve been doing is looking at word choice and, for example, changing “we” to either “she and I” (200 percent word count increase!) or “the two of us” (300 percent word count increase!).  I haven’t done this throughout–I think the flow still reads okay–but it bothers me that it isn’t efficient, and that I’m looking for ways to gussy up the prose just to gain words.

Part of the problem is the type of story I’m telling.  Last year, I chose that old fantasy stand-by, “the quest.”  This is a pretty easy story to inflate, because you can have your questors meet odd people along the way or run into strange situations, and you can use this to deepen the atmosphere and breathe some life into your world.  You can also advance the story at the same time.

This year, I’m not sure what kind of story this is–it’s almost a “coming of age” story, though not quite.  But its skeletal structure just wasn’t adapted well to have tons and tons of extraneous flesh draped on it.   It’s clearly unhappy with all the extra baggage. 

As a result, I’m really unhappy with what I’ve done to the poor thing.  As Henry said in a comment, you can always go back and edit later, but I have a feeling if I touch this story in December, it’s going to snarl and bite me.

This…well, it will have to be dealt with.  I’m grateful, as always, to NaNoWriMo for unblocking what remains blocked the other eleven months of the year.  Next year, I’ll have to be like Saga and have a good plan.

Back to the keyboard…sigh… 

UPDATE WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NANOWRIMO SO IT CAN BE SKIPPED:  I’m so glad the makers of “Sugar, A Little Snow Fairy” didn’t take the opportunity, in episode 20, to make Greta the villain.  I really, really like the character and would hate to see her made an object of hatred.  In fact, as the arc progresses past episode 20, it’s very clear the makers want Greta to do the right thing.  In her own way, of course.  Her challenge in episode 21 was clearly part of that.  And in episode 22…oh, well.

I’d love to think of her as a hero.

She’d wave me off, with that awful laugh and her violin trills.  But her heart wouldn’t allow it.

Nan06:22-25

Current word count:  42,051

Nice break, though I was able to do some writing in the attic after hours.  This month has been far too busy for much writing.

In fact, mostly, what I did was re-writing.  No, change that.  What I did was over-writing.  I’ve stuffed this manuscript so full it looks like Peter Griffin.  In fact, every time I open the file it says, “Hey, remember the time when–” and I have to shut my speakers off.

It’s only 9:00 PM on Saturday, so who knows how much more writing stuffing I can do before the bell tolls.

Later:  apparently that turkey had way more room than it let on.

Current word count:  43,283.

Not what I wanted, given my goals, but there you have it. And…there you have it.

To my writing buddies, sorry for being absent so long.  You’re all very important to me, and moreso, to yourselves and your ambitions.

Henry and Cullen, I know you’ll get there.  FRAngel, I know you’ve got more talent in one blood-stained talon than I have, um, in er, this napkin I kind of squished a bug in.  *Cough*  Ghost Rose, you don’t look in the mirror often enough, and when you do, you don’t see what all of us see.   Which is a very talented author who needs a BIT OF WHUPPING GOL DANG IT *extended series of coughs*.  Sorry, Rose, cousin Nahum is a tad hard to control…

Keep going, Ghost Rose.

Nan06:21

Current word count: 36,555

A nice looking number.  I’ll be out of town probably through Satuday, so updates here will be pretty much non-existant as I’ll be where there’s not much internet access.

I’ll still be able to write, though, so with luck I should be able to hammer in a few more words.  I think I might be able to reach 45K by Saturday’s end.  And there’s still revising to do.

I wonder how much NaNoWriMo is actually killing the writing.  Because I’m trying to tell a good story, but I’m also trying to get wordcount.  So when I go back and see an awkward phrase, I don’t think “I should delete that.”  Instead, I think that I should surround it with more and more words until it works (which is sometimes never).

I was kind of surprised last night, that I took out a whole section that simply didn’t work.  Of course, I immediately turned around and started typing in other sections, trying to make up for lost wordcount.

Ah well.  I doubt what I’ve got is publishable in any form, anyway.  The process does nag, though.

Later: Current word count: 37,173. Another nice looking number.

And until later, then…stay safe, keep writing, and I’ll see you all very soon.

Nan06:20

Current word count: 35,617

That’s as of 11AM.  I doubt I’ll get much more than that, because I’m utterly exhausted.  I’m off call, finally, which is great.  I can’t tell you how draining that experience is; I’ll have it again in four weeks.  What fun.  Even when nothing happens, there’s always the possibility that something might, so you simply can’t relax and enjoy anything.  I’d try to treadmill and be anxiously looking at my pager the entire time.  It’s like a bomb in a movie, only one without the digital coundown LCD.  You’d never know when it might go off.

Needless to say, it went off frequently this past weekend. 

“Sugar, A Little Snow Fairy” is excellent treadmill food, by the way, which surprised me.  It’s a kid’s show, but it’s not written down and it’s very, very charming.  If you don’t like kid’s shows you won’t like this, and if you have an aversion to overly bug-eyed characters (some of them, honestly, look like almost like insects) it’ll be hard going. 

But it’s fun, and instructive to see how evil is dealt with.  The show has a villain, Greta, though “villain” is far too harsh a term for her.  Typically, her comeuppance comes within minutes of her appearances, so it’s too soon to hate her, as the makers intended.  She’s actually quite fun in that way.

She’s just very, very insecure, and I found her lovable in a weird kind of way.

Note:  NOT THAT WEIRD.  Sheesh, you people!

Update:  Had to bulldoze some bad stuff I typed out.  But managed to type out some no doubt even worse stuff.  

Current word count: 36,454.