Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Last day. Capricorn sub-1's. Year of the city - 2004. Carousel begins.
If I get "renewed" I'll be back tomorrow.
Or maybe I'll run for Sanctuary.
Time will tell.
Monday, November 29, 2004
More Fun With AutoCorrect
Last night I added nv -> N'Vonecz so I won't have to type in that awful combo of capital letters, apostrophe, and seemingly random letters each time the demon does something.
Auto-correct is having a decidedly negative effect on my typing skills outside of Word. When I proofread my blog entries, for example, I'm noticing a larger than average number of typos. Part of the NaNoWriMo philosophy is to type now, edit much later. As I switch from the novel to a couple short story ideas next month, I think I'll slow down the pace in case I wind up with a job interview that involves a typing test.
Twenty-eight Down. Two to Go.
Last night I started the penultimate chapter, the scene I envisioned from the line in The Call's song, Oklahoma: "The preacher cried out 'Hell's been raised!'" Zombies are now running rampant in the town of Graphite. The demon N'Vonecz has taken possession of Rev. Herbert Gantt's body (pun most certainly intended).
In this chapter and the Revival Meeting one, I started by sketching out all the things that could go into the chapter. I got all but one or two into the Revival one. I have way more than I can get to tonight in the Zombie chapter, so I've highlighted a few (the ones I've been mulling over the longest) and will catch the others during the rewrite.
Tomorrow I'll write the Aftermath chapter as the survivors walk through the ruins of their town (this presumes that after the rewrite there will be any survivors; if that all changes in the second draft, then the Aftermath chapter will come from the perspective of the road crew who finally manage to install a temporary bridge into town.)
All in all this has been a great month. I'm still as stoked about the book as I was in late October, if not more so.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
14 bonus points to you if you can correctly source* the origin of TSG without resorting to Google or other online search engine/index.
If Sam Raimi can re-use Lovecraft's Necronomicon in the Evil Dead movies, Tobin's is fair game for me.
*This'll help narrow it down a bit: It has nothing to do with my friends Dave and Melanie Tobin, or the Tobin family at-large.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
In addition to the fatigue, another reason I stopped at 1,500 was that I wrote a 1,000+ word section dealing with a character who had dropped under the radar and had a significant role to play midway through the revival meeting. So I got him all set up.
I also finally caved in and didn't give the girl who Gantt revived (physically) life-threatening organ failure. Instead she gets appendicitis, which is funny (not ha-ha) because she already had her appendix out prior to the events chronicled in the novel.
I also changed one of my character's backstory so his dad died earlier in the year instead of his mom - with two moms dead and a tortured teenaged girl, I felt the thing was getting a bit misogynistic. So one mom, one dad, and a girl with a re-grown/re-failed appendix; not quite fair, but a bit more balanced.
Friday, November 26, 2004
Today I fit in a session at Barnes & Noble while Dina and Phil went to the SpongeBob movie. 1,300+ words in 90 minutes ain't too shabby. I missed seeing David Hasselhoff swim like a cruise missile, but I think I'll survive.
I'll start writing the revival meeting tonight. I'm planning on skipping around in the listening audience with the preaching being in the background. We'll see if I can pull off the technique I'm thinking of....
Thanksgiving find of the day: Buffy - Season Seven: <$18 at Target.
Second best: $20 in Bon dollars by going back through the line and picking up additional $5 cards.
Yesterday I was at 114%. With today's early session I'm at 117%. Tomorrow morning? Come back then and check it out.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
"YAHOOOOO! You're all clear, kid. Now let's blow this thing and go home."
53,474 words = 107%
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Sometimes I Amaze Even Myself*
The bartender's scar has popped up in several other characters' scenes. It will pop up again in a scene I'm writing tonight or tomorrow when the revivalist meets her (he doesn't look at the scar at all and she winds up buying a round of drinks for her patrons after he leaves).
My favorite instance of this happening took place last week when I dove into my bookstore owning ex-priest's backstory. In the present-day story he offers literacy classes (possibly some tutoring too, but I didn't get into that). So was that something he did when he was still a priest? Something told me yes, and that that had something to do with why he left the priesthood. Well, why would he leave the priesthood over that? Well, what if his students were getting into secular books (Harlequin Romances, Stephen King, etc.) that the other parishoners didn't approve of. Yeah, that could lead to conflict (Catholic conflict? I'm not so sure, but it works for now). So he leaves after a blow-up with his parishoners and maybe even the next step or two up the hierarchy (it'd be helpful to know what that hierarchy is before publication, but for now generic hierarchy works for me). Okay, so we know why he quits, but why'd he get into literacy classes in the first place?
Well, what do I know about Catholics.
- They're big on the pope.
- Big on the Virgin, too.
- Ditto Saints.
- Confession is good for the soul.
- I tried to ignore the Monty Python "Spanish Inquisition" sketch.
- Friday Fishdays (although I think that's out of vogue now, even though clam chowder is still the soup of the day most places on Friday, but I think maybe the change had something to do with Vatican II).
- Whatelse happened at Vatican II? The liturgy changed from Latin to the vernacular (English where the priest would be), didn't it? (I checked online later to make sure I was right. I was. Yay me!)
- So if there were people in his church who couldn't read and had faked it by memorizing the Latin, they'd be stuck when the Mass started happening in English.
- Bingo! (both the game popular with Catholics and "Aha! I have my tie-in").
Now that it's happened (and continues to happen) to me, it doesn't feel like coincidence at all. Where do those moments come from? I don't think it's coincidence, because it feels like they were there all along just waiting to be found. Providence feels more like it, although I don't think God scheduled Vatican II for the sole purpose of providing me with a character development point. Nevertheless, I thank God for working it out that way and for including details like that in my scant knowledge of Catholicism.
And Thanksgiving happens this week and I'm actually thankful for something. Coincidence? Hmmmmm....
*To which Princess Leia responds: "That doesn't sound too hard."
Almost There ... Stay on Target ... All-mooost Therrre ....
I'll blog more later, but I'm stoked that when I added tonight's wordcount to the previous total it came out to an even 49,500, without dithering or copious padding.
500 words to go (that's exactly 99% done for you non-math nerds). I'm stoked.
*If you don't get this reference, rewatch the original Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope if you're under 25 and the words 'original' and 'Star Wars' confuse you).
Monday, November 22, 2004
Driving I-5 at any time isn't the most exciting of jaunts, but at night it's just plain ridiculous. So with Dina behind the wheel I got out my laptop at Salem and wrote about 750 words by the time we hit the windy roads of the coast range west of Beaverton. After we checked into our motel and got the boy to sleep, I finished another 1,250 words before calling it a night.
Most of my non-child-supervisory time on Thursday was spent working on a song-synched slide show for Dina's Friday presentation at the annual Episcopalian convention. I did sit down to write for awhile, but managed only 321 words due to Philip-related interruptions (he wouldn't stay in bed at bedtime) and the video project.
I did a little better on Friday, struggling through sleep deprivation, but still managed the minimum 1,737 words.
Back home, Saturday night I was back on track with 2,731 words.
Yesterday (Day 21) I went to a meeting on Eugene-area NaNo'ers. One guy already finished his book with 57,177 words. After the meeting I stuck around Cafe Paradiso and wrote just over 1,000 words. After the Thanksgiving service at church, I fired up the 'Book again at home and wrote just shy of 1,500 words for a daily total of 2,498 words.
I'm 93% of the way to the 50,000 word target - I should hit it tomorrow night. That'll likely put me 2/3s to 3/4s of the way through the novel itself (Tuesday - Thursday) with the big Friday zombie finale still to come.
My Ship Comes in at Wal*Mart, Then Stops at Freddy's
Give Thanks Early - New Phil Pix!
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
I'm sitting at 71% complete right now (doubling up yesterday boosted me another 9%).
There are worse places to sit.
Places with gum on the seats.
Or medical waste.
Don't sit there.
Her death gets a bit messy, so that's not the excerpt over on the NaNo page (plus my mom freaks out when I kill mothers in my stories). Instead, it's a segment I wrote in the first two-hour writing session I did last night.
I wound up with almost 4,500 words for the day (no dithering). As yesterday (Day 15) was the midpoint of the monthlong project, I'm on pace to write over 70,000 words before the leftover turkey goes bad.
For what it's worth (FWIW for acronymists), I'm listed with a bunch of other NaNoers over here.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Scroll down to Eugene to see why I'm excited.
I had something in mind that sounded "scripture-y," but I had no citation to go with it (when in doubt, bluff with Hezekiah 3:16). Usually I'd just type in BIBLE VERSE GOES HERE to hold the place and keep moving on, but since I wanted Gantt to quote (paraphrase, actually) Pastor Jim Bromfeld's snarky citation back to him, I really needed to have the gist of what Gantt was going to say right.
So I took a field trip online and found a few verses that were in line with what I was thinking. I never found the actual verse I had in mind, which makes me think I made it up (I'm soooo creative, y'know).
The top three verses made it into the story - and today's NaNo exerpt.
If nothing else it'll get readers to go find a Bible and look up the passages - maybe the Spirit'll move them to read other stuff there, too. It's all good.
Happy Blogday to Me!
Since I ought to be closing in on my 31,001st word around 9:40 tonight I thought I'd kick things off a bit early <hoists mug o' coffee>.
So take a moment and enjoy the archives and enjoy a mug of your favorite brew, too. Irish it up if you want - it's a fiesta!
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Well, it's 12 hours since my early morning post and I'm still buzzed. I can see this thing coming together. Last night I had a couple more of those moments where I'm writing and then I see something that should be happening, but I hadn't thought of it yet.
The first one was that after Maya, the 14-year-old, is hit, someone goes and runs and calls 911. I didn't actually show it happening, but what happened next (and I didn't show it because I didn't know it was happening) is that someone called the girl's mom. Fortunately I noticed the mom pull up in her station wagon, so I was able to incorporate her into the story right away (and it doesn't matter that we never saw someone call her, because of course someone would call her). So mom made it in the story.
The other thing that I saw that I didn't see in time to get it into the first draft (but my parenthetical, italicized inner editor happened to mention) was that I had a bunch of high school-aged kids and revival show workmen (I always type the m before the k in workmen, so it says "worm" - poor typist? no. hidden symbolism? yeah, that's it) congregated on the park side of the street. The other side of the street is people's houses and my PIIE (mmmm...piie) commented that there should be people on that side of the street, too. So I made a note of it and forged ahead.
The past few days I've noticed that the first 500 words are the hardest, taking upwards of an hour to get down. The final 1,000 are the easiest, coming in around 30-45 minutes.
I'm at 53%. Go, Me! Go!
Point of No Return
I'm also over fifty-freakin'-percent of the way through my novel.
And the 14-year-old girl I killed off the other day? Not so dead any more - and not in a bad way, either (that comes later).
Friday, November 12, 2004
Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
I'm now 48% done. As long as I hit the rock-bottom 1,667-word-minimum tonight I'll cross the continental divide, and all the words will start flowing downhill into the second half of my novel.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
The first 500 words were a struggle and I was ready to give up after 1,000. But after a break and some leftover Chinese barbecue pork, I sat back down and wound up with 2,552 for the night (well, it was 2:30 this morning, but I'm counting it for last night). Almost 900 of that fintal 1,500 words is a long, rambling account of how Brooke got her scar.
Knocking down another 5% of the 50K target puts me at 43% for the first third of the month.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Here's the pix:
Phil took these pictures up at Salem
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Writing on Autopilot
In the rewrite I'll probably format the interviews as a "From the notebook of David Graham" kind of thing unless my skills at writing what's going on in the background improves (2,000 words of straight Q&A probably isn't that great of an idea).
Anyhoo 17,000 words = 34%.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Watch What You Eat
Consequently, I spent more time in the bathroom than in front of the computer. I did manage the daily minimum of 1.667 words (plus a few), so that worked out okay.
Lesson learned: Get the Double Quarter-Pounder (that'd be the Half-Pounder) from McD's instead of the "healthy" salad.
22% done is 22% done.
Friday, November 05, 2004
Meeting New Friends ... and Killing Them
Last night (Day 4) I found out something about my main villain: He doesn't like really old people.
Reverend Gantt visits a retirement home and one of the residents is a semi-vegetative guy in a wheelchair. The guy is staring off into space in Gantt's general direction and it creeped him out. Didn't know that when I started writing the section.
I've mapped out the scene where Gantt dies, but haven't "officially" written it yet.
4 days, 19% done. At this rate I'll hit 50,000 words around the 20th.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Day 3 Recap
Over at the writing blog there's an excerpt from the late-night shift.
In the earlier shift I killed a 14-year-old girl. Yeah, there's something to take pride in.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Day 2 Recap - No Election Commentary
Let me add that I love the auto-correct feature in Word (not the auto-complete feature; I hate that). In the chapter I wrote today my main character, a writer named David Graham interviews the local sheriff, Brandon Woo (see excerpt, on NaNoWriMo blog page). Unfortunately, my fingers could never remember if sheriff has 2 r's or 2 f's (they usually went with the extra r and shorted an f). So I added the word and the typical misspelling to the auto-correct table and stopped worrying about it.
I was also appreciative that common contractions typed with a semicolon auto-corrected to an apostrophe.
9% written in two days. Yay me!
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
NaNoWriMo Day 1 Recap
Here's how it went:
- As I mentioned in my early-morning post yesterday, I started writing at 12:00:01 and got 50 words in. I added "The End" to bump it up from 48. I don't know if I'll include "The End" in a final draft; I think people will figure out when the words stop coming that it's time to stop reading. Maybe I give people too much credit.
- During the afternoon I wrote for 30-40 minutes camped out in the cafe section of Fred Meyer while Phil hung out in PlayLand. I was eating a sandwich at the time, so I had to keep taking my hands off the keyboard. I only managed about 360 words. I need to invent a sandwich feeding contraption that's like a feedbag, but won't block my view of the laptop.
- On the way home from Freddy's I had a brainstorm about one of my characters, Sheriff Brandon Woo. I wrote down as much of it as I could in my notebook when I got home. I think I remembered everything I had thought of while I was driving. I put fresh batteries in my microcassette recorder when I got home (I could have used it in the shower this morning, too). Those words didn't count toward my daily total.
- At a little after 9pm I got down to writing in earnest. It took about 90 minutes to get the first 600 words into the computer (for a 1,000 word daily total). Then I had a Diet Pepsi and a mini-bag of Bugles as a reward. In the next hour I cranked out another 1,200 words. I may start with a soda at 9 tonight and see if that help the first half go faster. My waistband can't take too many extra servings of snackfood.
Monday, November 01, 2004
And So It Begins (again)
The words for the epilogue came to me a few nights ago and I wrote them on a paper plate so I wouldn't forget them.
I'll write more later this evening, but I wanted to get this part in ASAP, so I've "officially" begun. Yay!
Go read the epilogue over on the project blog. It'll make a little more sense after I write the prologue - and then the whole rest of the book - but I think it's pretty effective for what it is.
Last Review for Awhile?
Why you should read my review of lost boy lost girl: It's not that bad a review. Based on the likelihood that the excerpts of my first draft on my NaNoWriMo blog will be pretty reeky, this may be your last chance to read something halfway okay from me for awhile. Plus, there's some fractions.
For your convenience, there's a link to my NaNoWriMo blog permanently affixed to the upper right hand corner of this page. Don't forget it.