NaNoWriMo

I’ve been coasting by these last few days, feeling much like a famished person in a dark, cold desert, seeing fire and water everywhere but not ever quite reaching refreshment or warmth. You see, for the last three days, I’ve been typing away tying to make the numbers on my spreadsheet tell me that I will have to type 3,000 words or less to meet the 50k goal on Wednesday… Now, I’m no math whiz, and more importantly I have no brain power left after writing thousands of words each night, but… each night, I hit around 2700 or 2800 and the spreadsheet then says I have less than 3000 words to write the next day to meet my goal… I don’t really understand. Maybe by Dec 3rd or 4th it’ll hit my recuperated brain and I’ll come back here and edit this post to remove all proof of my sheer idiocy. Hey, wanna see my spreadsheet?

Sexy, huh? It somehow keeps me clacking away without distraction to try figure out all those totals every day. 
What else is going on? Um.
I just looked up at Conan and saw that Jason Seigel has some facial hair… just a dusting, but it’s disconcerting. It’s just a hint of peach fuzzy goatee… Way to be creepy, dude! I kid, I still love you.
I sleepy. Night night.
xoxo
—Crystal
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You guessed it, kids, it’s time for another Wordle!

Aren’t you excited to see some other words starting to grow in usage outside of “Just around one”?

Good.

So, great Thanksgiving! Wrapped it up in this cool Inn on Old Orchard Beach, the Atlantic Birches Inn, owned by some family of family. It was pretty sweet digs– guarded by THESE chaps:

Friendly! Anyhoo, after gorging myself Thanksgiving day, I just didn’t have enough of the tasty veggie side dishes, and I made this delectable goodness!

Photos cannot begin to describe to you just how amazing it tasted to eat these quartered brussel sprouts, sliced carrots and garlic. Just mixed with a wee hint of oil and roasted til browned… Mmmm-mmm! This will become a staple in my life. Except for days like today when damned Market Basket is out of damned brussel sprouts! Gah! (Don’t judge my frozen Banquet fried chicken. I live a busy life with NaNoWriMo!)

So, that about brings me up to date until TODAY! TODAY was super fun! I took a jaunt down to Lowell to see my great friend and former colleague, Bartley, in Disney’s Phineas and Ferb Live! tour. I went down with a friend and we left early enough to swing by the Kerouac Commemorative on the way between the parking garage and the arena!

This excerpt from On The Road really rekindled that love for his style– the stream of conscious flow of his words and imagery. It inspired me in my novel motivation!

This shot shows a bit of the genius of the design of this commemorative. The reflections match the background so closely that it gave the effect of the huge slabs of granite being somehow transparent! It was really cool. Also, the little park has a ton of benches, for reflecting, writing… what have you. I like it a bunch.

Along our stroll to the arena which took us WAY around to some of the more … exciting … parts of Lowell, we ran across this:

which excited me perhaps an inordinate amount. SERIFS! On a BUILDING! Held on by THOSE BAR THINGIES! It was very retro. I liked it a bunch. The building was for the Lowell Sun, the town’s long standing paper!

We also passed this:

That’s right, that says “Espresso Pizza.” I’m going to hope that means “fast pizza” and not “coffee beverage pizza”… cuz… um… 
Anyhoo, the show was GREAT! 
Super fun, and my pal Bartley, who was Dr. Doofensmirtz and also some other dancers while out of costume, really stole the show with his dancing and baton tossing and energy!
Okay, I have HIT 38k with 631 bonus words, so I am GOING TO BED now! Yay!
Catch you on the flip side, suckers! 
xoxo
—Crystal

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I’m sad that my various camera-to-computer apparati are all at home, with no way of uploading my mahhvelous phone pics from yesterday and today to the interwebs whilst procrastinating my Writer’s Cafe time away! I’m at a word count of 30,851, with a par of 36,666 to hit today.

I have a great pic of the Hilton Garden Inn spread at the library right now. It’s epic! Let’s pretend this is it:

Okay, that’s totally ripped off of the web, but it’s pretty fantastic for real.

Also, Lexie’s was amazing last night. I also have a photo or two showing that the secret about Lexie’s is totally out now. Let’s pretend this is it:

Also, the City Council meeting last night was pretty kick-ass as well. Let’s pretend THIS is last night’s City Council meeting:

Oh, wrong again. Aren’t I so silly? My favorite quote from last night’s City Council meeting was from the ever-lovable City Attorney Sullivan. “No, we don’t propose to purchase any land that we already own.” It was in response to a question clarifying which section of land the Manager was proposing to negotiate the purchase of. The Councilor who asked had just indicated a parcel of land that is already the City’s property. Can’t get anything past our City guys! Seriously, though, City Manager Bohenko does nothing but impress every time he speaks. It’s so clear that he is right on top of everything and is great at his job. I have yet to see him stumped by any question– and the Council is made up of nine very unique individuals who all have very different focuses and different things they are concerned about and want to be held accountable for. I love to see this city’s democracy at work. And I’m also sad to see Ferrini go. I like him. He’s very Mayoral. And this from the woman who jokes about BEING the Mayor of Portsmouth. He’s a good egg. It’ll be interesting to see the change in dynamic when the new Council is sworn in! (It’s still unclear who will take the 9th seat, as the residency of one Jack Thorsen is up for investigation by the same City Attorney quoted at the top of this paragraph).

For real though, I’ll add the real pics later this evening.

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I had NOTHING on my plate today but upping my word count. I put in just over 2,000. Sigh. Some days it’s just a struggle. On the upside, I did catch up on Glee, Up All Night, The Office, Revenge and Whitney. Judge away all you want. My Hulu Queue is an open book.

Here’s my Coffee Mug art for the day:

I’ll try to be more creative when my brain isn’t totally fried on trying to elongate an underwater adventure and a breakup scene flashback. 
I am delighted to have found other uses for the ChalkInk marker! 🙂 My mirror in my bedroom is now a makeshift reminder board/calendar. I’m a bit disappointed that the tip of the marker is all bevel-y and not a round tip– it’s tougher to write on the curved mug surface. That’s my excuse for the lameness of the penmanship.
But, as Ira Glass noted, you always suck at a new thing at first. In fact, usually you suck for quite awhile before you get good. That makes me feel better.
Also, my Thanksgiving plans are ironed out, and I’ll be able to make it to see all THREE branches of parents, so hurrah! 🙂 One of the many perks of having moved home from Hawai’i, 6.000 miles away. The holidays. Can’t wait!
Insomnia, fuck off. I want to be well rested for my MONDAY tomorrow! City Council meeting at 7! Woot!
G’night sleepyheads (are you really sleepy? If so, I’m jealous. Send the sandman my way, okay? Sigh).
—Crystal
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So, I know that I already did the word cloud thing, but it’s just so damned cool that I’m doing it again. Good ideas are recyclable. So are coffee cups. Drink responsibly, friends.

Obviously, when I get to the editing stage, I’m going to be hypervigilant about the words “just,” “around” and “one.”
I also decided today that Bat Man could come completely out of the book and not make too much of a difference. I mean, it was the exciting catalyst I needed to start writing fun stuff, but … I just don’t think the Bat Man elements are useful to the good parts of the novel so far. So I’ll probably delete that element in revision phase. But hey, for now, I’m 25,755 words in, and I should be over 30,000, so I’m doing another marathon weekend of writing.
Thankfully, everyone I know trusts me with their house keys, so I’m house/dog sitting again this weekend. Again, it’s a bigger house than mine, and of course I’m all alone in it, so it’s the absolute PERFECT place to get a shit ton of writing done over the weekend. I do have a few small friend engagements this evening, which will be a change from my usual hermit weekends. It’ll be interesting to see if I still know how to exist in a bar on a weekend night. Haven’t done that in months!
OOoooooh! And I got this chalkboard mug at Starbucks! 
Totally inspired by Austin Kleon, I’m going to rip off his idea of writing something new on it every day. I’ll never claim that it was my idea, but I do think it’s a great spark for creativity, and as Mr. Kleon himself encourages artists to steal useful ideas, I think he’ll be okay with it.  Hmm… day one of Coffee Mug Art… 
Okay, after further investigation, it has become clear to me that I do not pay enough attention when excited about something. Apparently this mug is designed for you to write on it, let it dry, then BAKE it to make it permanent. Not exactly what I thought. But, that’s an easy fix, I’ll simply stop by Michael’s this evening on my way out to dinner and purchase a white chalk marker. The mug seems shiny enough to be easily erasable. And regardless, I do love the mug on its own merits anyway– it’s pretty big, which is awesome because I like to fill mine with lots of tea. Or coffee. Or whiskey. You know, whatever. So I guess I’ll start writing on it TOMORROW. Or tonight. You know, whatever.
Peace out, yo!
—Crystal

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Ohhhh–oooohhh! Livin’ on a prayer! Take my hand and we’ll make it I swear…
Ahem.

Halfway through November. I’m creeping up on 24,000 words, and am fully confident that by today’s end I will have hit 25,000 words! I’m currently clacking away at the Portsmouth Public Library, where in just over an hour Hallie Ephron will be motivating me and giving me tips and inspiration in a talk entitled “How to Write FAST without Losing Your Compass.” And as luck would have it, I am literally navigating in the particular part of the story I’m in right now (well, not including any of the number of flashbacks I tangentially explore with startling frequency).

In a rebellious act of overt procrastination, I headed my dallying self over to Wordle.net early on in my Write-In stint to make a word cloud of my novel thus far. Here it is:

Pretty cool, huh? Apparently the most used words are pretty boring ones, but that’s not very surprising. I’m happy that “Batman” at least makes an appearance in an otherwise misleadingly mundane word cloud. No really, I promise, my novel is actually quite exciting! It’s no work of Dostoyevsky or anything, but it’s NaNoWriMo, it’s not actually supposed to be good yet. This is an epic exercise in first drafting– getting words onto the paper. The toughest part for me has been refraining from editing as I go. I LOVE editing. It’s my favorite part of writing– the crafting of language into something that sounds just so amazing. But the vomiting of ideas onto paper (or screen, as it were) is the necessary first step. Cleaning it up as I go would ensure a failure in hitting 50,000 by 11:59pm on the 30th. So onwards I go, with “Permission to suck,” one of NaNoWriMo’s slogans, repeating in my head.
I had a pretty exciting element introduced into the story this evening… one word: moustache. I can’t WAIT to flesh out THIS part of the story! Yay! :})

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So, hey, it’s Monday. To give you just an idea of MY Monday, THIS is the weekend I was coming off of:

Ahhh. Amirite?
Well, in spite of that, it’s been a really great day! I’m a big believer in #MakingMondaysMatter (Go follow @URockMarketing to catch THAT positive energy! ), so that positive attitude helps!
I haven’t written a SINGLE word today, although NaNoWriMo thinks I’ve written a couple hundred since my last update was just after midnight last night. I plan to enjoy a fantastic $4 dinner at Lexie’s Joint tonight with my two roomies (They have a 1-2-3 Monday special: $1 Buds, $2 Coke/IBC bottles, $3 Bacon Cheesburger WITH fries. Mmm), then get down to biz. I ended ahead of the word count benchmark last night, thanks to some serious motivation sparked by @ReShootComic, who threw out a 15k Weekend Word War! I tapped out at just over 10k, but considered my weekend a success nonetheless.
Bring it on, Monday night! Hopefully I’ll do a quick sketch, too, so that I’ll have a great fresh picture going into Tuesday, which is Write-In day at the Portsmouth Public Library! Not only that, Hallie MotherEffing Ephron will be speaking to us at the PPL at 7, too! Her topic: “How to Write Fast without Losing Your Compass.” Boy, could I use THAT pep talk at this point in the month!
Peace out, yo!

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Lucky 13. Yay. If I sound less than genuinely enthused, it’s just that I’m getting a little burned out on this whole novely endeavor. I want to go romp with Carlos! I’m not letting myself until 3:30 or 22,500 words, whichever comes first.

Mayhaps you’d like to see my sketches? They are named for the word count I was at when I drew them:

There’s “3,212”:
and then “4,253”:
I know. pretty great.
Also, I must sketch more, but this weekend I’m joining @ReShootComics for a 15,000-word count weekend challenge (have I mentioned that already?) and am therefore trying to squeeze every second of writing around the irritatingly necessary tasks of daily life (eating, sleeping, etc.). Perhaps Monday will be sketch day. I think that’s a good plan, since Tuesday is Write-In day and very productive.
Side note: any other NaNo-ers out there become extremely conscious of hyphenated words now? The NaNo official word counter counts hypenated words as one word, while my Bean program word counter counts them as two, which means when I verify, I come up shorter than I thought. Blarg.
So on one of my interwebs breaks from writing, I stumbled across Skitch. Do you guys know about this?! It’s SO rad! Look what I can do! I’m going to time this.
Three, two, one… go! 
30 seconds. And that was the first time I’ve ever tried to put it in a blog post, either! The possibilities are endless. Go download it. It’s totally free. I am going to check out the company that bought them, too– Evernote, as I’m a organization fanatic and am curious to find out what that’s all about.
Okay, only 21,253 words. That means 1,247 until I get to go play. Peace out, home slices.

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Okay, so a 15k Challenge this weekend… it will be a challenge, that’s for sure! I’m competing with several others over on http://johnatthe.com/ (“cfparadis” in the Word War).

Carlos and I took some fun and ridiculous pictures while procrastinating today:

I even tried to take some of those fun Photo Booth pics with the fake background, but… that didn’t work out so well:

The background-detecting software wasn’t too great (plus, we couldn’t duck out of the way fast enough for it to work properly anyway…)
Anyway, he got tired of that real fast, and now it’s back to writing. I’m almost to 14,000 words, and when I reach 15,000, I’ll allow myself a nice long soak in the hot tub, followed by one more Dexter episode and then bed. House sitting comes with its perks!
—From the desk of a woman on a faux-vacation and on a mission!

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