Wednesday, November 30, 2005

NaNoWriMo's Out For Summer! 

Yay! I did it! I now have an unfinished 50 000 word novel - complete with oddly-named characters. One of them is even about to learn to fly! Go Elstever!

Wow, I just Googled 'Elstever' and it seems it may mean 'moose' in Danish. A flying moose guy - excellent.

I've celebrated this arvo with mud cake and those party whistles that unfurl shiny paper when you blow. It's all good.

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Winner

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Self Control + S 

When you're desperately trying to write 50 000 words of fiction, you tend to hit CTRL S a lot. You think, oh, that's good - CTRL S and what are they gunna do now???? - CTRL S.

Then you open your blog to post for the first time in over a week. You write a single sentence about your NaNoWriMo word count, pause to think and - you guessed it - hit CTRL S.

Guess what hitting CTRL S does when you're writing a post in Blogger? That's right, it publishes your post. And then you think [Expletive], it's late, that'll do.

And then, if you're like me, a friend comes along and comments on your enigmatic post. Yay! At least you have something to laugh out loud about. :-) And then - another friendly blogger posts a comment! And suddenly, the post you prematurely posted attracts three comments from two different people and voila! it's the most successful post comment-wise that you've ever published.

Incidentally, Col's linking to some cool online resources lately at Monday Sunset and I've added his blog to my blogroll. Benjamin Solah's Blog is full of NaNo news, which is good for me too. I need all the inspiration I can get and it helps to know that I'm part of something bigger than just me trying to type and hold my head together at the same time.

[ Quick re-read - CTRL S ]

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I have 34 796 reasons for me not to have blogged much this month (so far).
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Friday, November 11, 2005

Going Nowhere 

I wrote four blog posts today that all disappeared into the ether upon me hitting 'Publish Post.' The titles appeared, the footers appeared but not the actual posts. I recovered the post on NaNoWriMo, deleted a post on my visit to the optometrist yesterday, rewrote a brief post about a digital book blog and then rewrote a post on the role of a bacteria in wet MD caused by variations in the Complement Factor H gene (if you're going huh?, imagine how I felt re-writing the damn thing). So I'm writing this post to check that it's safe to post again before I write to Blogger and ask what's going on.

Update: A happy outcome! A bug fix in Blogger lead to the discovery of a bug in Opera that lead to the text of my posts disappearing. Opera have addressed the problem in the beta version of Opera 9 and have also worked with Blogger to find a workaround. After realising yesterday that I could post using Mozilla Firefox, I felt quite down about the possibility that there might not be a fix anytime soon. Only a very small percentage of Blogger users access the site with Opera and the Opera Community offers a weblog service to members. Why would they work together to fix a bug that affects someone like me - who uses both Blogger and Opera free of charge to write weblogs that very few people read? But they did, and I'm very pleased! A thread in the Opera Forums called Opera and Blogger don't cooperate anymore tells the story. Good grief, Pete from Blogger who helped fix the problem is a pirate.

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Sparse Grass 

NaNoWriMo is a stretch, especially when you can't think of a way to describe a sandy clearing sparsely populated with, umm, grass. Or when you can't think of another word to describe 'sticky outy bits.' In particular, sticky outy bits of rock, just so we're clear.

My only plan in the beginning was to write 1666.6 a day, making up ahead of time for a day I know won't include writing, and not to drink red wine every night of November. To free my creative mind, I'm writing in the genre I least like: fantasy.

Reasons to write a fantasy:

  • I don't care enough to worry about getting it wrong.

  • I can give my characters any name I like and not be reminded of a cousin or a guy who went to school with me or a character from an Aussie soap.

  • I can pinch elements from my own environment to form the setting - but if I get it wrong, it doesn't matter! Much.

  • If my characters get caught in a tricky situation, maybe they'll discover they can fly or move through walls (or maybe not, I'll see).

Reasons not to write a fantasy:

  • My characters probably shouldn't talk like members of my family.

  • Maybe walking through walls has been done to death.

Problems I've Encountered So Far:

  • I kept writing 'so and so looked/felt/heard whatever' instead of just describing the scene.

  • My characters feel and hear disproportionately more than they see and one character can't see well in bright light or at night (but she's very strong and she has a love interest, so there ends her resemblance to anyone we know).

  • I've decided to write a chapter of 5000 words every three days but this stuffs up any natural rhythm I might have going.

  • I stay up till the early hours trying to finish my quota and don't find time to blog.

Lessons Learnt So Far

  • I can write 17 161 words of fiction in 11 days

  • I didn't know I could be so corny - I'm not sure if this is a fun revelation or cause for concern.

  • I'm not the only person living in the south west to be doing NaNoWriMo!

  • The dog still needs to be fed

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Monday Sunset on a Friday Night 

Col's blogging up a storm at Monday Sunset, the blog that goes with his radio show on Canberra's 2XX FM. I'll try to add a link soon, just as soon as either I finish NaNoWriMo or my pinky finger recovers from all the NaNoWriMoing.

Kinda late here, so late that this amused me - 'Google discovers true meaning of 'titsup'' (The Register, 4 November 2005). I hate having to verify I'm a human by reading a word rendered as a graphic. I think this is the first time I've read the word first go without squinting and/or deliberating about an O or an 0, or a t or an l (when there's a squiggle through the l, for example, it could be a t, right?).

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hathor, Or Not 

Ooh, bet you didn't know I have an inner goddess. An inner goddess with the most godawful name, Hathor.

Hathor wants me to grow into a wondrous queen from the insecure girl that I am. I am so on the way to becoming a wondrous queen. Hathor is also the patron goddess of dancers and I hope she watches over people who bop about the house when they should be blogging too. So long as she doesn't watch on Dancing with the Stars nights.

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