Abandoned my writing buddy when my eyeballs threatened to fall out of my head and roll across the floor and, more importantly, the superstrength ibuprofen wore off and my hands started to ache like they’d been hit with a hammer. Starting wordccount 13k. Final wordcount at the end of the day: 17,436

(posted on request for a reader who can’t access twitter)

When in trouble, kill a character. Kill 2, they’re small. Live on the wild side, kill a major character. a funeral is worth a thousand words
about 4 hours ago from web

16k words.many of ’em about travails of writing at coffeeshop. see also:people who let their spawn bang on the piano like liberace on crack
about 4 hours ago from web

received txt msg from WriMo who turned out to be sitting right behind me here at the coffee shop. wackiness.
about 4 hours ago from web

15,000 words. some of them coherent. most of them real.
about 4 hours ago from web

maybe I should quit writing and devote my life to roller derby
about 5 hours ago from web

NaNoWriMo update: 14,000 and counting.
about 6 hours ago from web

As you may have noticed, I’m rarely at a loss for words. That doesn’t mean I don’t get writer’s block, but it never manifests in the “all work and no play make jack a dull boy” vein. I may not have the oomph to work on what I should be working on, but I can almost always be counted on to churn out words of some sort.

To whit, since NaNoWriMo began, I’ve written manifesto-length blog posts, tweeted incessantly, IMed endlessly, produced proliferous emails (though not enough to even approach being caught up, unfortunately). I’ve put pen to paper and written letters, to-do lists, greeting cards, postcards, and notecards. But I have not put in anything approaching adequate effort on my November novel, which needs to reach 50,000 words by November 30th.

Today is the 14th. I should be at around 23,338 words today. I’m at just above 13,000. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but last year at this time I was approaching 70,000. That was then and this is now, and there’s still plenty of time.

Thus, today, it’s time to pull out all the stops. Detailed expositions of trips to the grocery store and the hardware store and the coffeeshop. Shopping lists. Emails between characters. Dream sequences. Fake academic articles. A novel within the novel (good place to shove the debris that no longer serves the story but I can’t bear to dump because down would go the wordcount). Perhaps even some blog posts.

Hell, I may resort to song lyrics, but things will have to get a bit more desperate for that to happen. No offense to anyone using the song lyrics trick, if it’s in the service of the story I say go for it.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I think one of my characters is about to dare another one to recite all of the U.S. State capitals.

Don’t you hate it when you start out writing a nice story about squirrels spreading some sort of viral zombie disease among a bunch of artists and you end up writing about terrorists wrecking a wedding? Eh, there could still be zombies. And, as Husband has suggested, maybe the only way to kill the genetically modified terrorist-controlled zombies is by raising the dead and sending traditional voodoo-inspired zombies to destroy them.

Husband has been practicing turning off his brain so we can resume our Galactica 1980 marathon, so I may not want to listen to him. Galactica 1980 is the perfect Writer’s Guild Strike viewing choice, because no writers were involved in the making of this show.

For the last few years all of my writing has been set in Florida, but almost of my actual writing has been getting done in Virginia. This time, my [tag]NaNoWriMo[/tag] Novel (which would be a NaNoWriMoNo) is set in Virginia. And I’m going to be writing most of it in la Florida. Perhaps like last year I should overachieve and write two, setting the Virginia one aside while I’m there to write one set in Florida. Since I haven’t written a word since the 1st day, I’m not sure I see that happening. The odds are better that I’ll see the [tag]Virgin Mary on my toast[/tag]. In fact, you can take those odds to the bank.

Despite recent posting evidence to the contrary, I’m the last person to suggest that life is anything like the movies. Nevertheless, I must describe the events of today because even I thought them a little too cleverly and conveniently plotted.

I ventured out of doors today (which is, in itself, newsworthy since I have been sick) and met a friend at the local coffeeshop.

We hadn’t chatted in a while and I was going to tell her of the NaNoWriMo novel I’m trying to work on when I feel well enough to write. Then I was going to write a little.

Before I could even tell her title or premise, this random guy joined our conversation. Even when we very aggressively ignored him, even moving to a more distant table, he continued to leer and just generally be creepy. It was appropriate, though, in it’s own way, as I was trying to tell my friend about Freak Magnet, my novel in progress, and about the phenomenon of, well, attracting freaks. I was clearly exhibiting my natural freak magnetism, so she got the gist quite quickly.

Inn passing, I also mentioned how I am The Finder of Lost Dogs. The novel isn’t autobiographical, but freak magnetism and lost dogs are important to the plot.

So after we chatted, I spent a little time writing. Specifically, I finished the chapter started yesterday: about a fire at a place rather like Gatorland. Later, she and I walked home.

A dog came bounding down the sidewalk and greeted me like a lost littermate. Fortunately, his owner wasn’t far away, so we didn’t have to go through the prolonged ritual that includes the catching of the dog and the reading of the tag and the calling the owner. (I keep a leash in my purse, very handy in these situations).

Then I returned home to catch up on the news. Needless to say, the headline concerning today’s massive fire at Gatorland caught my eye.

I never go to movie theatres because most movie theater seats don’t play well with my arthritis, plus the whole adventure usually just wears me out for days afterwars, but I may have to try and see Stranger than Fiction, because, well, things just have been.

On the other hand, I’d probably just end up sitting behind someone who would converse, loudly, with their invisible friends throughout the entire movie.

Or, possibly, the woman who sat next to me during The Matrix, but that’s a story for another day…

I’ve been enjoying William Gibson’s new weblog a great deal (and not just for the cheap thrill of finding we have some of the same books on the bedside table).

I found his meditation on Timothy Leary, drugs, and writing both touching and amusing. I’ve certainly long agreed with him on this point:

Leary once told me that he thought that the best single piece of advice he could give to a writer was to either write stoned and edit sober, or vice versa. For me, functionally and organically, composition and revision are aspects of one process, territories on a continuum. The need to chemically define two individual states seems anything but a shortcut. The journey out from baseline and back seems a waste of time, when, if you accept that one cannot step twice into the same Heracletian river, simply waiting a while will have the same effect. The Heracletian “you” that returns to the task is not the “you” that put it down earlier. That, to me, is the easier shortcut. Of course, if one were really inducing that state only because one enjoyed it, and wished to repeat it, that would be something else.

I’m not averse to having a glass of wine while writing, but really I find that a little time and distance from a piece brings enough change in self to give me the fresh eyes that I need. Inebriation? Not a useful working tool, at least not for me.

I have to use AOL to access Open Diary from home and my connection is very painfully slow and I can’t seem to stay logged in long enough to update anymore. I’m not about to return to handcoding so I’m going to have to try to remember to update between classes while I’m at school.

I’m sharing an office with a nuclear physics PhD candidate and she’s really nice but she comes in and while she’s thinking, she stares intensely in my direction when I’m writing and mumbles under her breath in Chinese, which I find slightly stifling, creatively speaking.

If things go dark here for a while, don’t write me off. I’ll be back.

I know you’re all sick and tired of hearing about grad school, but I had an epiphany I just had to share.

To briefly recap: My advisor convinced me that taking the fiction screenwriting class would be useful to me in my non-fiction writing.

My epiphany isn’t that he’s right, although he probably is.

My epiphany is that it draws much less attention when you make phonecalls for research purposes if you identify yourself as a fiction writer than if you call and say you’re just doing research.

I hope so, anyway, because I imagine that otherwise calls about whether, hypothetically speaking, a pet mummifyer could also mummify a person and then disguise the remains to look like a large dog would attract much less attention from, oh say, law enforcement, if the person was just doing research for a movie.

That’s what I’m hoping, anyway.