NaNoWriMo: the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good (grrrreat! even):
Today I crossed the finish line on my NaNo novel. It has a tentative name "Twins of
Tessar: Gift of the Gods," a real live plot, characters, some great moments, and plus I recieved a shiny new sticker to put on this blog.

The bad:
It's not done. All the characters are at the mark, get set, Go! to the climax. but the action and emotion of said climax are yet to be written. And somehow that exhausts me. Nay, it even depresses me.

The ugly:
After finishing I visited a few writer's blogs. people I've met at conferences. People who all seem to be fabulous at keeping up with the writing and illustrating and marketing-making and blogging and selling and doing book tours and etc.

They inspire me, yeah sure, but they also make me feel sick. Like I will never keep up, I will never climb on top of this thing and ride it like a rocket into the stars. I will never be done.

and then i realize -- 
oh yeah. if i am done, i am dead.

the point is:
be gentle on myself.  love the baby steps. AND take a moment to celebrate the big ones (50,000 words in a month!) geez!



My second novel is whizzing by: 32,023 words in just 19 days.

My first novel took almost 15 years:
  • 6 months to write the first draft
  • 10 days at a writer's conference with a famous author (the excellent Bruce Coville) only to learn that I didn't know the first thing about writing a novel, and was arrogant to not read all the other books in my intended genre
  • 1 year to break draft 1 into 4 books
  • 4 years to have a baby and get a new job or three, edit the darn thing, and attend lots of other writer's conferences, only to learn that writing is not that easy, and requires persistance.
  • 6 months to send manuscript to many editors and agents, only to find that I still didn't know how to write well enough
  • 6 weeks in 1999 writing 6 short stories at a prestigious writer's workshop (Clarion West) and also with my favorite author, Ursula K. LeGuin, only to learn that "writing is hard."
  • 10 YEARS of not writing and then writing 6 MORE DRAFTS, in between renovating an old farm and raising kids and working full-time, there is a book.  Self-published for now (long story), but an actual, physical book.
I can't begin to calculate the difference, in joy, in ease, and yet writing a novel is STILL HARD.

The moral of this tale: if you are crazy enough to stick with something, it actually gets easier.


Write a 50,000 word novel in one month = insane

...but "nanowrimo" is what I aim to do. So if I am quieter here than I'd like, it's not for lack of wacky bloggerisms that clutter my brainwaves. It's that every ounce of juice I have must - be - funneled - into the blasted book. I've written 11,875 words so far. And I will not admit defeat!

Here are some interesting writer's peptalks in support of insane nanowrimoers

Follow my progress at the nanowrimo site


Love what you hate

3 is a magic number. And yesterday, synchronicity struck 3 times. The theme is "accepting that which is not your very favorite."

Numba 1. Watched "I like to kill flies," a documentary on the Greenwich Village restaurateur/cook-philosopher who was immortalized as the 'soup nazi' on Seinfeld, who said, "The first duty of everybody is to realize you are a piece of shit. You are selfish, self-centered, you are not very good." See the scene here.

Numba 2. I fought the weeds, and the weeds won.

My nemesis in the garden is quack grass. I respect it, because it's highly successful, in a Darwinian  sense. But it took over this year, and sometimes the garden has become a torture chamber, if I focus on the fact that there are literally miles of quackgrass taking over nearly every piece of vegetation that I plant.

Yesterday I cackled with glee as I yanked out yard-long pieces of the stuff. Yet even as I attacked it, I was struck by the metaphor of EVIL.The grass will win. I will NEVER pull up every ounce of wickedness in my soul.

The best I can do is to love the grass. Accept it. And yes, try to get rid of it. But not let it control my experience of the garden.

Numba 3. Reading "The Lazy Man's Guide To Enlightenment," a current favorite (the author reads the first chapter in this video), I was struck by this passage:
And many of us insist on thinking of ourselves as only kind, good, and wise: we try to be pendulums that swing only to one side...The remedy for this is to be loving, to experience life without mental resistance...where love is constant and our awareness is open, we will more easily comprehend the miracle of containing contradictions, opposites, and paradoxes.
Basically, love what you hate. 


Evolving the paradigm: the science of intention

Thanks Jackie, for this fascinating audio interview/conversation

"Can thoughts heal the world? Is human consciousness a coherent form of energy?

Sing for Dan

Our good friend Dan Nichols needs a donor for a stem cell transplant. This is a Big Deal...truly a matter of life and death.

You may have heard of the research that prayer actually does heal people (back in the 70s, my dad wrote his dissertation on a related subject).

IMHO it's a matter of focusing your intentions, so the Force or whatever you want to call it, can respond.

So here’s a PLAN to focus all of our prayers into a laser beam of energy to help find Dan a perfect stem cell match.

4 times a day, at 9, 12, 3 and 6 Pacific time, everybody take just 1 MINUTE, and sing for Dan.

Songs work great, because they don’t allow other thoughts or doubts into the prayer. And the Force, or whatever you call it, likes singing!

Sing it OUT LOUD (lock the bathroom or get in your car if you have to). Sing it as if you REALLY MEAN IT, as if your own life or the life of someone you love depends on it. C’mon, you know the tune:

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Find Dan a match!
Find him a find, Catch him a Catch!
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Look through your book,
And bring him a perfect match!

I am excited to join you at 9, 12, 3 and 6. We can do this. And PLEASE, spread the word.

finally, a blog.

Finally, the writer has a blog, a place for all the Stuff that comes up.

She has no Followers yet. How does one grow them?

Perhaps I will plant a few seeds, water and feed them, put them out in the sun, and watch them grow.