Friday, November 10, 2006

The Intimacy of Coffee Pots - Thursday 11/9/2006

I admire them for their ability to show affection in public. Cuddling there on display, for anyone who cares to see.

This was a real power writing day. I got to Big Boy at 5:00 am and wrote till 6:30 am.

Worked my actual mortgage-sustaining job for 8 hours, no breaks, so I could leave "early."

Visited the fabled Lulu's Beehive in Studio City for another bit from about 2:50-3:35. I used to meet with a group of writers at Lulu's when it was on Sawtelle years ago. They are so writer friendly. Lots of plugs available!

Then met with Gia to work on our book project for about an hour and half. This is going well.

Traffic was hideous. Were all the Dems out celebrating? Were all the Repulicans out drowning their sorrows? I gave up and found that Starbucks I thought I remembered in San Fernando, and wrote for another hour there.

All that, and I think I only just barely scratched out the 2000 words I have been wanting to get each day. I'm still on track, but I want to be a bit ahead.

Today I'm working--my actual job--from home, and I slept in till 5:30. EEEK! I will write today, but right now I have a stomach ache. All that questioning they talk about on NaNoWriMo radio. Eek. I like my characters, but what am I doing to them, for them? They need to go through more more more.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Detailed Analysis of President Bush's Press Conference Today

"Quack. Quack. Quack."

Limp. Limp. Limp.

I Know My Secret is Safe With You - Wednesday 11/8/2006

Hydra's beginning to wonder who I'm rushing out of the house to meet in the mornings. Who's putting the bounce in my step and the twinkle in my eye?

Shhhhh. It's Bob.

I swear, there's nothing untoward about it. I write. He brings me oatmeal and hot tea. I write some more. He plays upbeat songs from the 50s at five o'clock in the morning.

Thanks to Bob, I have now heard the full-length version of "Alley Oop" with the Beatnik comments at the end. Sort of the special edition DVD version of pop music. I'm sure this experience will add to my appreciation of the era and the oeuvre (this being the entire artistic product of The Hollywood Argyles.)

It's an intellectual and spiritual relationship we share. Support my art, win my heart.

Still... he has a kind of cute butt, don't you think?

Exotic Burbank - Tuesday 11/7/2006

The full moon is moving where ever it is.

Which brings up the question: is where ever one word, or two? I have never been so interested in this question in my life.

What do you mean, Spellchecker--pinup is one word? Isn't pin-up easier to read? On the other hand, I experience a little burst of elation to learn that down payment is actually two. But then, backcountry isn't?

Who decides these things?

Certainly not someone obsessed with a daily word count!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Democracy Inaction - Election Day 2006

I was at my polling station today, had just finished up and was heading to the ballot box to insert my ballot, when another woman came out of her voting booth and said that she'd messed up and voted wrong on one of her items. She asked what she was supposed to do.

An older woman behind the registration desk said she could give them back her ballot, and they would void it. Or if she didn't feel too strongly about it, she could just go ahead and turn it in. And then the registration woman just stood there for a few seconds, not making a move to get a new ballot, implying that--what?--it was _wasteful_ or something to get another ballot?

The voter hesitated. Before she could give up, I said in a fairly loud voice, "I think if she wants to fix her ballot, she should be given another ballot and she should be able to fix it." Or something.

"Yes," the voter said, turning back to the booth to get her ballot. "Thank you," she said to me, as she turned it in for a fresh one.


I'd like to think I'd do the same thing if I hadn't recognized her from a local political debate a few years ago as a Democrat.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Triumph Over Adversity... I Think - Monday 11/6/2006

I packed up my computer, notebook, USB drive and notes early this morning and...left them in the library at home.

Luckily, I had dropped this project notebook into my bag on the way out the door. I wrote longhand this morning for about an hour. I have no idea how many words I have at this point.

The word counter from Firefox is lowering my predicted word count every hour I don't add to the total. I was ahead when I went to bed last night. Now it's predicting I'll end up with 49.3K at the end of the month.

I'll show _you_ evil Firefox word counter! [shakes fist]

At least, I think I will

Break o' Day Five - Sunday 11/5/2006

Up and at my computer by 4:45. (It’s also supposed to be good for insomniacs to keep the same schedule on the weekends, so we’ll give that a whirl.)

Day didn’t actually break for a while after I’d started. I was working under some time pressure because I was supposed to get a critique to Braveheart on her fabulously inventive novel weeks ago and I want to a) be an honorable human being and make good on my promises, especially creative ones like this that are actually good for me and b) be able to focus on my NaNo novel; working title: Basura Canyon, just so I won’t take it too seriously.

Time pressure is good for me.

I took Braveheart’s manuscript with me to Panera and camped there most of the afternoon. Saw some other NaNoWriMo writers there, and spoke to one. She had a very cool sticker, which I wanted. But not badly enough to ask for one when I didn’t even have my laptop with me.

I can practically hear the word “FRAUD!” bringing all the activity at Panera to a stunned pause.

Ended the weekend with my word count a little higher than it absolutely needed to be.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Talking the Walk - Friday 11/4/2006

Talking the Walk

I got up at about my usual time, between 4-4:30 in the morning, all ready to write. I didn’t have a very clear idea about what I wanted to do, but I have fallen for my two main characters and I want very very much to do them justice, give them witty things to say, and interesting challenges to overcome.

While this is probably the desire of most authors for their characters, it is not a particularly healthy approach to trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I took this photo around 8:30 in the morning when I took a break to take down Halloween decorations. I was planning my blog entry, something to do with the haunted house in which my creative spirit lies gasping.

Luckily, Hyrda stepped in with a reality check. We treated ourselves to a sushi lunch, roamed the aisles of Lowes considering projects for our winter vacation, and went to Barnes & Noble. I was just about ready to order a hot chocolate and settle down with copies of Lenswork and Writer’s Digest (there’s an article about structuring a novel, that I thought might just help), when Hydra came up with a package in hand, ready to go home.

I was cranky, but I knew any other course of action would just be putting off facing the inevitable truth that I’d spent about four hours to get about 600 words. Aiiiii.

Fought with the keyboard a while longer, and then Hydra and I went out for a dusk hike. These are particularly wonderful on an evening like last night, when the moon is up and almost full. I’d sworn I wasn’t going to tell anyone about the book until the end of the month, but Hydra has proven a VERY useful plot man in the past so on Day Four I found myself on the trail, talking. We’ve done this before when I’m stuck.

Wow. I told him who my characters were so far and what the main challenge is that they are coming up against, and he asked all the right questions. Like okay, how does she change? Okay, now how does he change? How does the experience make it happen? And he came up with a fabulous twist for the catalyst character. I mean, really fabulous.

The best thing about all this—besides having a built in writing coach in my house—I don’t even mind stealing his ideas because of California’s community property laws. If anything comes of my writing, he gets half and all he has to do is be brilliant every once in a while!