Monday, November 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo Wrap Up

Well, it's official. I am a winner of the 2009 NaNoWriMo. I officially submitted my manuscript at 5pm EST and was declared a winner with 52,209 words.

So now what do I do?

Well, blog about it, of course, right?

It was a crazy experience and really, I can't wait until next November so I can try it again. I never thought I would manage to hit the 50,000 word mark way back at the beginning of the month when I started out on this journey. Nor did I think I would ever want to do anything with this manuscript come December 1st but, you know what? I like my story a lot. Well, I like parts of it a lot and I think I really want to try to turn it into a viable project and not just an experiment in shitty first drafts.

I am guilty of not writing an ending for the book because I don't know how it ends yet. But fortunately for me, the NaNoWriMo people, nor their word counting robots, care about that. I hit the magic word count number and that's all that matters.

The story also took a turn I didn't see coming. I was just writing this scene toward the end, just kind of trying to use up words and all of a sudden, it just...changed.

I love it when that happens because I think it's just damn cool but at the same time, I hate it when that happens because I am left a little slack jawed and thinking "Uh...great. Now what?"

So while I don't exactly have an answer for that particular question, I'm not going to worry about it tonight. No, tonight I am going to watch the New England Patriots take on the unbeaten New Orleans Saints.

But maybe I'll worry about it tomorrow.

Top Ten Things I Learned From NaNoWriMo

1. Sleep is for sissies.

2. I am a sissy.

3. It is possible to write a good 30,000 words without any semblance of a plot.

4. Stories almost always end up somewhere you didn't predict.

5. I cannot bring myself to use the phrase "swollen penis" or "quivering member" or "pulsating manhood." At least not at 3am.

6. I used the letter 'a' more than 12,000 times during the course of my novel.

7. I used the letter 'y' even more.

8. I know I am really getting attached to a story when I start building a story specific soundtrack.

9. I really do love writing dialogue.

10. This was probably the most fun I've had when writing in a long time.


Tune in later this week, kids, to read an exclusive excerpt from my untitled and unfinished and unedited NaNoWriMo Project.

Until then, a good night to one and all...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Television Week In Review (Week Ending 11/28/09)

Sunday

NFL Football: NY Jets at Patriots: Now, that's a much better game. Although you were making me a little nervous there for a while in the second half. Thank you.

Amazing Race: It is on like Donkey Kong! The teams go to Prague (which according to the brothers is a country.) and are annoying. I really, really, really want the brothers to go home. They bicker more than all the other teams combined. Plus, they stole Brian and Ericka's cab which was kind of a dick move, guys.

Legend of the Seeker: I haven't watched this episode yet. There are times when I hate NaNoWriMo. This is one of them.


Monday

How I Met Your Mother: Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap...need I really say more? This slaptastic show slapsolutely makes me laugh so slapping hard I can't breathe half the time. Eric Slapton. But now, the sad part is, there's only one slap left.

Big Bang Theory: Talk about not being able to breathe. This show is so damn funny. Whoever thought that back in its first season, this would become appointment television? Big shout out to Katee Sackoff who guest starred as Howard's fantasy. Also, loved Kripke's prank on Sheldon and then Sheldon's revenge prank on him.

Dancing With the Stars: So, its the finals which, let's be real, is usually won or lost on the freestyle. Mya, I think, lost because of her freestyle. She should be kicking Dmitry's ass for his play it safe idea. I really think it's going to be between Donny and Kelly. Between the two of them, I hope they pick Kelly because she's always so freaking happy. Plus, Ozzy'll be there!

Castle: Haven't watched it yet. Another NaNoWriMo victim.


Tuesday

So You Think You Can Dance: Legacy and Ashleigh continue to impress as does the work of Sonja Tayeh. Her routines are never, ever boring. Unlike the Can Can. That was kind of boring. Karen and Victor's tango was great and their hip hop routine boring. There were a couple of others that didn't keep my interest enough to make me watch them all the way through.

Dancing With The Stars Finale: Skipped most of the encore dances and both of Whitney's appearances so the show really didn't last that long. I am surprised that Kelly didn't place higher than third because I really thought the audience was in love with her. I am not, however, surprised that Donny walked away with the trophy over Mya because these things are won and lost on the freestyle and he went last and he had a really fun number. Mya, proceed kicking Dmitry repeatedly. That boy lost you a shiny mirrorball trophy.

Wednesday

So You Think You Can Dance Results: Victor and Karen are out. I'm a little surprised they kept Ryan over Victor. But at least none of the women will have to worry about having Victor as a partner next week. Did anyone else notice that all of Victor's partners were kicked off?

The Middle: Thanksgiving at the Heck Household. Pretty damn funny. Loved Sue's boyfriend and her parents' reaction to Sue's boyfriend (Should we tell her? No, she'll figure it out eventually. Or he will.) and Big Mike's listening to the game on tape in the truck. Loved Frankie's drinking and then telling everyone she has to go cry in the toilet and demanding that Mike hold her hair...and then telling the kids she had the flu while Mike told them that drinking was bad.

Modern Family: This episode made me laugh so hard, I first stopped breathing and then cried. Cameron and Mitchell are my favorite couple ever.

Glee: Kurt gives Rachel a makeover which actually repels Finn. Quinn considers keeping the baby and puts the increasinly unlikeable (which is really saying something considering I've never EVER liked her) and babysits with the Mohawk kid who spends the whole time sexting with Santana. We see the reform school glee club and the deaf school glee club. Not my favorite songs by far but still, a fun episode.

Thursday

Reruns, reruns everywhere.

Friday

Monk: Holy FRAK, was that an intense episode or what??? Must see the second half of the finale NOW.

Saturday

Robin Hood: Another show with another two part series finale and OH MY GOD, they did not kill Allan a Dale! C'mon, first Marion now Allan?? Am so over Robin and Kate. But what will I do when this series has finished?? Guess we'll find out next week.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Crunch Time

So, it's crunch time, otherwise known the last weekend of the NaNoWriMo experiment. It happens to correspond with the busiest shopping weekend of the year which means I have to work. A lot. At least there were no annoying customers today. Unexpected but certainly welcomed. I'm hoping the rest of the weekend goes as smooth.

But anyway, back to NaNoWriMo. The good news is I'm only 5,500 words away from my goal of 50,000 words. The bad news is I have no idea what the hell those words will be.

The story took a weird, unexpected twist and I don't know if I like it or how to write it really. But I still have to write a sex scene (for what is a chick lit novel without a sex scene?) and two dream sequences so I think that might eat up most of my words. The sex scene would have been written a couple of weekends ago but I got so worked up over the Patriots losing to the Colts that I couldn't focus on anything else. And now every time I try to go back to it, I'm only reminded of that disastrous fourth quarter and then nothing gets done. But I'm going to have to get over it now because time's running out.

The bottom line is, sex scene and dream sequences aside, there won't be a definitive end to the book. At least not by the end of the month. But, fortunately, that's not a necessity for the NaNoWriMo people. And pretty typical for my work.

I like this story enough that I think I am going to work on it past December 1st but I don't know when or how much or, you know, anything like that.

All I know is that I have 5,500 words to write and one weekend in which to write them.

I was feeling so confidant earlier this week. Now I'm feeling the pressure.

It's crunch time. So let's get to it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For Which I am Thankful...

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and since I doubt very much I shall have the opportunity to blog tomorrow, I am going to write this entry today. It is a list of some of the things for which I am thankful. Thus the clever title. This list isn't in any particular order, nor is it likely to be all encompassing. It is what it is.

I am thankful for my friends, all my friends (Omar! Leah! Everyone in puppy class!) but the following five get a very special mention: Mike and Heidi and Heather and Jacob and Alison. They're the people who most often act as my sounding boards and read everything I write (particularly Mike who gets the honor of reading every draft of everything, for example twenty drafts of a particular synopsis and then the query letter to accompany it.). They're the people who never (outwardly) flinch when I ask a completely out of left field bizzaro question such as "Do you know any interesting ways to torture people?" or "Do you think I should kill a kid" (Important note: I only torture and/or kill fictional characters. And only when the story calls for it. I swear.). I think Mike was the proud recipient of a throat slitting question once and still considers (as far as I know anyway) me his friend. Anyway, I am thankful beyond measure for this support group. Thanks for having the confidence in me I am often times lacking.

I am thankful for my family, the big bunch of specially packaged almonds we all are. I am thankful for my parents for raising me right, for instilling in me independence along with a good solid work ethic and a good sense of morals (I only kill fictional people after all). I am thankful to them for giving me a marathon length stubborn streak and not naming me Prudence or November or Persephone. I am thankful for my siblings, all three of them, even though I spent a lot of time in my youth wishing to be an only child. My foils, my antagonists, my partners in crime, thank you for being my friends and companions on this journey we know as life.

I am thankful for my niece, Jupiter, and for the once in a lifetime experience she gave to me when she joined our family. I am thankful for my godchildren and every moment I get to spend with them. If the children are our future, you three make me think it'll be very bright indeed.

I am thankful for Joe, my significant other. Even though we more often than not bicker like the couple from On Golden Pond. Probably because of it even. I am thankful that he has accepted all the idiosyncrasies that come along with me and my writer-being (how's that for some damn fine writing?). He never (outwardly) groans or gets irritated when I turn the bedroom lights on at two or three in the morning because I have some exciting thought I need to get down on paper. He never (outwardly) groans or gets irritated when I don't go to bed until four or five in the morning (thus causing a billion decibels worth of noise when the dogs either come into the room with me or get up to greet me) because I've been up writing all night. He never (outwardly) groans over my obsession with medieval weaponry. He didn't even get (overly) upset when I (accidentally) put that hole in the wall with my authentic Braveheart broad sword and killed that one shifty looking lamp with my quarterstaff. He didn't get (overly) annoyed when I was rendered incapable of having a trans-atlantic phone call with him when I discovered my most precious writing notebook missing in my Yekaterinburg hotel room. He puts up with my quirks, my (occasional) bouts of bitchiness, my ever growing piles of books, my television obsession, my Dr. Horrible obsession, my Jacoby Ellsbury obsession and countless other obsessions...and even loves me in spite of it all. Thanks, sweetie. You're the best.

I am thankful for my puppies. Although they are often times huge pains in my ass, they're the best damn puppies around. Sure, the Gator Girl is simultaneously the most brilliant and dumbest dog I've ever known with both an energy and anxiety level that far outstrips the rest of us put together. Sure, Big's obsession with marking trees and his refusal to have a bowel movement unless I'm the one walking him, is annoying. Really annoying. But they're still my babies and I love them to pieces.

I am thankful for my job even though the bullshit to sanity ratio is way out of whack. I am thankful to still have a job, no matter how maddening it may be. I am thankful for the insanity that lives in that place if for no other reason than it gives me the ability to write some damn funny (or so you've told me, my faithful few readers, for whom I am also thankful) blogs. Plus, I am thankful that it's a retail experience that requires me to work no nights and very few weekends and spend my time there often thinking about writing.

I am thankful for Sharpie Fine Point Pens. Especially the purple ones. I am also thankful for Joss Whedon. I am thankful that Harry Potter asked to be in Gryffindor and that the Twilight saga is only four books long. I am thankful for macaroni and cheese and chocolate cake. I am thankful that How I Met Your Mother coined the phrase "Slapsgiving".

And I am thankful I will have the opportunity to spend the holiday with my family as well as Joe's family and that we don't have to rush home because I have to work at some ungodly hour come Black Friday. No, this year instead I'm working the late shift (8am, that is...which is late on Black Friday.)

I wish I could write more but I have to go out and brave the madness that will be the grocery store so I can get the much needed items assigned to me to bring for tomorrow's dinner. Hope they're not out of rolls...

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there. Thanks for tuning in...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ouch.

So I stabbed myself at work today with my box cutter. Now before you panic, especially you, mom, it sounds a whole hell of a lot worse than it really was. It didn't break skin. It didn't even make a dent in my pull over hoodie. But I think it bruised something because, man oh man, is there a spot on my rib cage that hurts like hell.

Guess that's why they tell you to not cut toward yourself. Lesson learned. Well, actually, that's not true. Lesson not learned. I still cut toward myself. Just as I will continue to scale the stockroom shelves without the aid of a ladder. I'm a maverick. Or maybe just stupid. Toss up, really.

I'm also positive that it was an accident and not some sort of unconscious attempt to get myself out of work. But I can't be sure. It was another of those mornings at work. One of those This Place Is A Huge Waste of My Time mornings. I wanted to be home working on my NaNoWriMo project (about which I will talk momentarily). I didn't want to be there processing a shipment containing 61 boxes of mini ice scrapers and a buttload of short sleeved tee shirts.

We don't need short sleeved tee shirts. It's the end of freaking November, for crying out loud. The shirts won't make it to the sales floor until January at the earliest so why do I need to store them in an already crowded stock room until then? Can't the distribution center just send them at the end of December? Or the beginning of January?

By the way, we also don't need 61 boxes of mini ice scrapers. I don't think we ever sell any. People mostly just steal them. So now I need them to steal 61 more boxes of them.

Anyway, moving on...

There is officially one week left in the NaNoWriMo project. According to their word count, my novel should be at 38,333 words by midnight tonight. My novel is currently sitting at 38,901. That's right...I'm actually ahead.

Someone go check and see if hell's frozen over...go ahead. I'll wait...

I still like the story and I'm confident I'll have little to no problem in reaching the 50,000 word mark, which is a far cry from what I was thinking back in the first week of this project. I think I'll need even more words than 50,000 to finish telling the story properly. This is not a problem, according to the NaNoWriMo FAQ's. Good, because I'm confident in saying that I'm going to need them.

I will also need a new title. It's currently called "Choose Your Own Adventure" which was a great story for the original concept (what little there was of it...) but now the story has evolved, as stories sometimes do, and the title really doesn't fit anymore. I have no idea what I'll call it though. That, however, I am less concerned with.

I was browsing the website last night and stumbled onto a list of published books that came out of the NaNoWriMo experiment. The one that really caught my attention was Sara Gruen's novel Water For Elephants. I haven't read it yet but keep meaning to borrow it from my sister to read it. I want to do just that even more now, knowing it's a NaNoWriMo baby. Her novel Flying Changes was also a NaNoWriMo baby, back in 2005.

Pretty neat.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Television Week In Review (Week Ending 11/21/09)

Sunday

NFL: Pats at Colts: Fourth and two on your own 30 yard line and you go for it? Bill, seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?!?!? Why do you insist on blowing a huge lead in the fourth quarter to our freaking arch nemesis??? Of course, I totally own the fact that had that play been successful, I would be worshiping you right now.

The Amazing Race: The teams take a slow boat to Estonia where they visit a secret brotherhood of merchants and show just how damn smart Americans are (what's a candlelabra?). Gary and Matt get to experience the saunabus too. Then everyone goes to play volleyball in some serious mud...the experience I think made the brothers a little too excited or something because CBS was using some serious blurring there. I also think the Globetrotters should have just picked up Sam and Dan and tossed them off the boardwalk into the bog.

Legend of the Seeker: The new season's second episode. I love the addition of Mord Sith Cara. Is it just me, or is this season a lot darker than the first season? I mean, lots and lots of throats were cut this episode...and all those scenes in the underworld? Yikes!


Monday

Dancing With The Stars: Mya and Dmitry are by far the best dancers and their scores reflect this. Kelly Osbourne is adorable. Both Len and Bruno were wildly inappropriate (I can't get you out of my bed, Bruno?? A tutti-frutti booty, Len??) I think either Donny or Joanna is going home.

Castle: The only parts of this show I don't like are when Castle and Beckett aren't in a scene. I also figured out that the call girl was the one responsible a while before Castle and Beckett figured it out. Go me!

How I Met Your Mother: The playbook. The scuba diver was priceless. Also loved Ted trying out the Ted Moseby and reporting that it worked like a charm. Did you know you can really google Lorenzo Von Matterhorn and see all the fake crap that Barney says he created? That's what I love about this show...the devil's in the details!

The Big Bang Theory: Leonard, Howard and Raj head to the desert to watch HBO and a meteor shower and end up having some pot cookies instead: started off very funny and got a little old by the end, but still, overall, pretty funny. The other story involved Sheldon helping an injured Penny. That was very funny. I especially enjoyed their "Soft Kitty" duet. Jim Parsons really should get another emmy nod for his performance in this show.


Tuesday

So You Think You Can Dance: Ashleigh and Legacy are surprising the hell out of me. They're so damn...good. How the hell did that happen? Legacy's paso doble was fantastic. The bird dance was distracting...the music especially. Loved Ryan and Ellenore's contemporary. Travis Wall is my new favorite choreographer. Sorry, Mia Michaels. You left a hole in my heart that I suspect Travis might be able to fill.

V: I recorded it. Don't know that I'll actually be watching it though.

Dancing With The Stars Results: Well, Joanna and Derek are out. I didn't think she was as much a fan favorite as the other dancers. Too bad but I am looking forward to next week's finale. Skipped the musical performances so really the show was only about five minutes long so that wasn't too bad...


Wednesday

The Middle: Oh my god, does this show make me laugh. Still don't know why parents would ever name a kid Brick. Did they cover that in the series premiere maybe because I never watched that. Joe maintains he was like Axel when he was a kid. That, I believe.

Modern Family: Edward Norton is hysterical. Elizabeth Banks pretty much did the same character she did in The 40 Year Old Version.

So You Think You Can Dance: I predicted that Karen and Kevin would be in trouble. I was half right. Kevin's out but so is Channing. I'm beginning to think that Victor is bad news for his partners. He's on his third one now...Karen, watch your back. You could be next.

Glee: In this episode, the Glee kids sing ballads to one another. Rachel develops a crush on Will and Kurt nurtures his crush on Finn. Finn sings "You're Having My Baby" to Quinn, in front of Quinn's parents, who promptly throw her out. The show ends with the Glee kids singing "Lean On Me" to Quinn and Finn...awwwww, sweet!

Thursday

Bones: Booth's grandfather makes an appearance. Clark starts to integrate better with the team and we're introduced to the "eaters and feeders" fetish. Well, I was introduced to it at any rate. Maybe other people already knew about it. Don't know why it was so heavy handed at the end...like we're never going to see Pops again, you know?

Fringe: Observers in love...creepy. Joshua Jackson taking out the Observers' assassin? Kind of hot...

Supernatural: This was the last episode until January. It ended with Jo and Ellen both dying and Sam and Dean failing to take out Lucifer. I figured it would end that way because it's only November and what would the boys do for the rest of the season, right? But, really, what an excellent episode. We've had so many funny outing lately that I think you were especially clobbered by this one. Good, good stuff. Castiel is such a great character. Jo and Ellen were also quite awesome and I am sad that they are gone. The previews for the next show back (again, in January) seem reminicient of the season six episode of Buffy where she thought she was in a mental institution. Anyway, see you in the new year, boys.

Project Runway: Irina won. Called that weeks ago. Whatever. Moving on now.

Flash Forward: This episode centered around Bryce and his obsession with Keiko, the girl he saw in his flash forward. We thought they would meet in Japan but they'll end up meeting in Los Angeles...very, very cool twist. Mark was an ass and that's about it.

The Mentalist: This was a very good episode, I think. Four agents died, Red John reappeared and then disappeared. The singing of "Amazing Grace" at the end was a little over the top for me, but it was, overall, a good episode. I particularly liked the press conference scene where Virgil bitch clapped (verbally, not physically) the stupid reporter who asked how he was feeling about three agents (the fourth hadn't died yet) being killed.

Friday

Again, my Friday shows are made to suffer the embarrassment of being set aside as I attempt to reach seemingly unobtainable word count goals. But I hear Monk gets back on the force, so good for him!

Saturday

Robin Hood: Three episodes left until the series is done. Over. This makes me very sad. At least I'll still have Legend of the Seeker, right? Anyway, in this episode, Robin and Gisborne join forces, roll around in the leaves some more (really, when Alan announced that Robin and Gisborne were fighting in the forest, someone should've responded with something like "Again? Must be Saturday.") to go to York and free their half brother from the sheriff of York's prison. The brother (who is damn good looking by the way) is screwing the sheriff's wife on the side and parlaying his- uh- position into getting extra food for his fellow prisoners. Robin and Gisborne argue over how to get their brother (conveniently named Archer) out of jail and then, of course, all hell breaks loose. At the end, Archer steals Gisborne's horse (man, that guy really can't catch a break, can he?) and goes to presumably join forces with Isabella. Two episodes left...how's it all gonna end?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vampires Suck.

So, in honor of the release of the second Twilight movie, New Moon, I was going to write this big essay type thing about the lameness that is Edward Cullen and his lot of so-called sparkly "vegetarian" vampires. I was going to write about real vampires and the differences between them. I was going to talk about Nosferatu and how freaking creepy (creepy in a good way...Dude's playing a vampire, for crying out loud. One should not want to cuddle with a vampire. Should not, anyway) Max Schreck played him. I was going to talk about Gary Oldman's performance as Dracula because I know it has to be good because Heather thinks it's the most romantic movie she knows, but I have yet to watch Gary Oldman's performance as Dracula. I was then going to talk about the Whedonverse (of course I was) and my favorite vampires of all time: Angel/Angelus, Spike, Drusilla and Darla, to be followed by a discussion about today's vampire and, if it wasn't for Damon Salvatore, I would think we had to stake the entire genre and start over because things have gotten wildly out of hand.

But, what happened is that I started writing this novel back on the first of November and I have to finish it (or at least hit the 50,000 word mark) by midnight on November 30th and it's been a little time consuming. I don't know how people who work full time jobs or have kids do this but they do and they're doing it better than I am. Kudos to them. I've hit the 30,000 word mark and even exceeded it, so I guess I'm in the home stretch. You know, if you can think if 19 thousand some odd words as the "home stretch". But it's more than half way, so I guess I can.

So instead of a big essay type thing about Vampires, I am going to write a little mini blur here. I am going to start with the disclaimer that the fourth Twilight book ruined the rest of the series for me. I was a casual Twilight fan until I read that fourth book. So I wasn't wild about the lame ass plot lines or the juvenile dialogue. I wasn't the least bit enamored by Bella's overwhelming and self destructive obsession with Edward. I would have preferred her to have some steel ovaries or something but whatever. It was harmless enough. Until the fourth book. It was probably the most horrifying thing I've ever read and I spent a lot of time going, "Oh my GOD. My thirteen year old niece is reading this...she isn't old enough to read this. I'm in my thirties and I'm not old enough to read this!" It's creepy and gross and did I mention horrifying?

But anyway, I was irritated by Edward as a vampire. He is so lame ass. There's a hysterical video about Edward Cullen meeting Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I posted here last month that really sums it up nicely. Ah, if only Buffy could make a cameo appearance in the next Twilight film. That would be awesome.

He's sparkly. He sparkles like diamonds in the sun. Unless it's the first movie and then he just looks like he's sweating profusely. He doesn't drink people blood (which is cool because neither does Angel or Spike...mostly...). He plays the piano and stalks high school girls. He, like his hair, is lame. He is not scary. He is never scary. Creepy but not in a good way. But not scary.

Vampires should be scary. They should not be creatures you want to run into in a dark alley. Nosferatu was a scary ass vamp. Angelus was a scary ass vamp and David Boreanaz played that character so well. Spike and Drusilla and Darla...all scary ass vamps. They'd even snap your neck if they didn't think you were worth the time to drain of blood (Sorry, Jenny Calendar). These are vamps who do not sit around composing lullabies for high school girls.

All right, so maybe Spike wrote poetry but it was freaking awesome poetry. Not many people would even attempt to rhyme the word "effulgent" with anything. Here's a clip of Spike mocking Angel (tried to find a clip of Spike reading his awesome poetry but no luck):



And how could I ever forget the episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer which brought us a bizarro world where Willow and Xander were both vampires. Evil Vampire Willow was especially scary...but awesomely so.

The Twilight vamps, not so much.

So there it is. My mini (or knee length) rant on vampires. And, one more time, because I love it, Buffy Versus Edward:



If only.

And now back to that last 19,000 some odd words...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up: The Halfway Mark and Other Tales

I want to begin this morning with a special message for my asshole neighbors:

Stop letting your damn dogs use my yard as their own personal bathroom. Don't you think I have enough shit of my own to deal with without having to clean up after your dogs too? Seriously, I don't know why you think that's all right. And I know it's your dogs. I do. You're the two houses in the neighborhood with a penchant of letting your dogs outside off leash and unsupervised so they can romp and play and shit anywhere they want. I know that's a good deal for you because then you don't have to clean up after your dog nor do you have to see the disgusting messes they leave on my lawn (and probably others' lawns as well) but it's downright rude and I'm tired of it. I also know it's your dogs because I have two dogs who each go in two spots in my yard. I make sure they only go in two spots in my yard so that I don't have to search high and low for shit. But now I'm having to do just that because of your inconsideration, you big bunch of ass monkeys. So knock it off. If you do not cease and desist this course of action, I will collect your dog's shit and put it in a paper bag and leave it (possibly flaming) on your front door step. Don't you think I won't. And one last thing: Marie, I do not know what you feed your dog but seriously, you should change his diet because that shit is really damn disgusting. Trust me, you're not going to want a flaming bag of that poo on your doorstep even more than you wouldn't want a flaming bag of regular poo on your door step.

End rant.

So, how was everyone's weekend? Mine was great until a certain questionable call during a certain sporting event that aired last night. Then I started screaming a buttload of obscenities at my television. Joe then told me to settle down so I started screaming a buttload of obscenities at him too. Well, that's not true. He did tell me to settle down but I did not scream obscenities at him. You know, for a change. My words were all reserved for my (still) beloved Patriots.

Here's a special message for Bill Belichick:

WHAT THE FUCK, DUDE?!?!?!?

End rant.

Let's see...what else? Oh yeah, yesterday was officially the Half Way Mark (Yes, I feel it's important enough to warrant capitalization) in my NaNoWriMo project. The target word count was 25,000 words. I started the day at 21 something thousand words. Then I went shopping with Heather for new jeans (had a 30% off coupon for Old Navy...), had Chinese food for lunch and then got caught up on my recorded television (Man, is it just me or is Legend of the Seeker like totally darker and scarier this season?) and THEN got to work. I started around 5pm. I finished at about 2:30 this morning.

But I did it. I hit the 25,000 word mark.

And a funny thing happened on my way to the half way goal. I started to give a damn about the story. I started to give a damn about the characters.

I wasn't really all that into it before. I was viewing this project as a way to keep my mind from obsessing on other things, as a way of challenging myself, but not as a viable project I would do anything with come December 1st.

Now I don't know what will come of it, but I want it to be good. I like my characters, I really like them, and I want them to have a good story. I don't want them to have a shitty experience because I was just trying to reach a word count goal. I'm not really sure what experience that'll be yet but one is definitely coming together. I had a good soundboard session with my brother and sister-in-law this weekend that's going to lead to a scene written later on today where my main character goes to the DMV...so it'll be an action sequence for sure...

But for right now, I am suffering from a massive Pop Tart craving and so I think I'm going to give in and go out and get some. A friend of mine who is also doing the NaNoWriMo project thinks that counting words has taken the place of counting calories. And judging by the amount of candy I ended up eating yesterday, I have to say, I think she's right.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Television Week In Review (Week Ending 11/14/09)

Sunday

The Amazing Race: The return of the dreaded hay bale challenge where Lena and Christie spent ten hours whatever season it was they ran the race...the gay brothers fought a lot, Meghan and Chenye fought a little but held up well, I think. The Globetrotters are still my favorites. They have the best attitudes. Gary and Matt also have good attitudes so I'm glad to know they're still in it...at least for another week.

Monday

How I Met Your Mother: The scene in the station wagon was hysterical as was Fat Barney. Loved that Alan Thicke made an appearance. I am curious to know if we'll ever see the ill fated Canadian variety show...bet it's legendary! And, oh yeah, Robin and Barney broke up. So, so happy about that.

Dancing With The Stars: What kind of dogs does Kelly Osborne have? They remind me of puffskeins from Harry Potter (Ginny Weasley has one named Arnold in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince). Liked Joanne and Derek's robot Paso Doble. Very creative, so kudos to you, Derek.

Castle: I like Castle's interactions with his family and his interactions with Beckett and the detectives...scenes featuring the detectives without Beckett or Castle also, I think, fall flat. The Captain's line delivery was, I don't know, too stiff or something. It wasn't the most interesting mystery tonight either.

House: House and Wilson and Cuddy go on a road trip with an awkward 80s dance and an even more awkward encounter when House finds out Cuddy is dating PI Lucas. Oops. Liked House's comment to Cameron "Don't you hate it when everyone in the room knows something you don't?" and then later when House drugs Wilson in order to prevent Wilson from committing career suicide. Not the best episode of House ever but still a good one.

The Big Bang Theory: Leonard and Penny have a fight. As it turns out, Sheldon hates fighting but everywhere he turns, couples are fighting. Sheldon continues to be, by far, my favorite character.


Tuesday

V: So I recorded the series premiere and didn't get around to watching it and I recorded this week's episode too. I wanted to watch it because Morena Baccarin of Firefly fame is in it and I like to support the shows that feature former members of the Whedonverse...but there just wasn't time. So I was going to just delete the episodes. But then Joe caught a glimpse of Wash (Adam Tudyk of Firefly fame) and so then, with two former Firefly cast members, I just had to watch. Don't know yet if I like it. I thought the premiere was rather slow paced and a little boring, at least until right at the end. We'd accidentally seen the end of the second episode so we kind of knew already that Wash (or Dale as they call him in this show) was an alien but the other revelations were pretty good. I'll probably stick with it a little longer.

Dancing With the Stars Results: Susan Boyle and Michael Buble sang, and another couple (Aaron and Karina) was sent home. Dancecenter made another appearance...I love Dancecenter. It's entirely lame but at the same time, kind of funny.

So You Think You Can Dance: Kind of a lackluster night, really. No one particularly impressed me. A lot of the dancers had bad nights and the others were just all right.


Wednesday

So You Think You Can Dance Results: I thought Pauline and Robert would be in trouble. It's strange...I spent most of last season bemoaning how it wasn't as good as season four. And then it started to rock so now I'm bemoaning how season six isn't as good as season five. Anyway, the Quickstep proves once again to be the kiss of death...maybe they should rethink assigning that dance to couples.

Glee: It's back!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which makes me rather gleeful!!!!! This episode managed to surprise me. Who knew Sue Sylvester had a soft side? Loved the Diva-Off and kind of wish Kurt hadn't blow the high note but it's sweet (if sad) why he did. Puck or whatever Mohawk Kid's name is baking pot cupcakes?? Too damn funny...if horrible. Also, Will's wife was nowhere to be seen. Next week's episode looks like it'll be fun.

Thursday

Bones: Missed the last couple of minutes because of a DVR mix up. Stupid DVR. But the stuff leading up to the end was good. I laughed a lot when Booth entered the wrestling ring and Bones trying to fit in with her use of colloquial language and phrases was amusing too. Plus, Gordon Gordon made another appearance and I always love it when Gordon Gordon makes an appearance.

Fringe: Figured the kid for the kidnapper and not the kidnapping victim long before they revealed it. Right now I am all about the preview for next week...Observers, Observers, Observers everywhere and I can't wait!

Flash Forward: Mark and Olivia go on vacation. It gets cut short because of a guy with a three star tattoo on his arm. Mark later kills the guy in a pet shop because he thinks it'll change his future with Olivia. Because there couldn't possibly be anyone else in the world with that same tattoo, Mark...Olivia throws away Mark's lingerie gift because it so happens its the getup she's wearing when she's sleeping with poker master (or at least master cheater...) Lloyd.

Supernatural: The boys are tricked into attending a Supernatural fan convention. Both chaos and hilarity ensue. Chuck is an awesome character. I laughed a lot at the end when Becky was breaking up with Sam. And then when Sam said to Chuck (in reference to the possibility of publishing more Supernatural books) that they had guns and will find him.

The Mentalist: Not a bad episode but I'm really more interested in seeing next week's outing. Three people die. Probably people no one cares about but still, drama, right?

Project Runway: Finale, part one. Carol Hannah is sick, Irina is uppity and mean and Althea is just...there. Can't wait for this season to be over. I've heard that the next season is already filmed and just waiting to be aired. I really, really hope there are better designers.

Friday

I haven't watched any of my Friday shows yet. Contrary to what this blog might suggest, I some times have things to do apart from watching television.

Saturday

Robin Hood: I haven't watched this episode yet but I'm a little worried about it because it's a flashback episode or something and Robin and Gisborne find out they have some familial connection? Whaaaat?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Getting Back On Track (Maybe)...

I was originally calling this entry "Weekend Wrap Up" before I realized it was Thursday and not Monday. Weird, huh? Well, I blame Veteran's Day. Holidays need to be on a Monday because Joe has these days off and usually the only days we have off together are Saturday and Sunday. But he had yesterday off, as did I, and now I think it's Monday.

I do not want to think it's Monday. I'm perfectly happy with it being Thursday.

Except that it being Thursday the 12th means I'm (in theory) supposed to be at 20,000 in my NaNoWriMo Project and well, I'm not. I'm currently, as of this moment, at 17,166 words. Which, all things considered, is not an insignificant number of words. That's more fiction than a lot of people will create in their whole entire lives. But what I'm seeing is a deficit of almost 3,000 words and still no real plot to help me catch up.

That book I mentioned earlier this week, Bird by Bird, uses a quote from E.L. Doctorow that says, "writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." The point being that you don't need to see your final destination but rather the two or three feet in front of you.

Well, let me just tell you that the two or three feet in front of me are probably the most boring two or three feet ever.

I'm trying to take the track of writing scenes I know need to be there which, I hope, will lead to scenes to connect A to B and C and so on. So I'm gearing up to write a sex scene and the morning after scene because, as I am attempting to write a chick lit novel, a sex scene seems kind of inevitable. Only I'm not sure I know enough about the main characters' motivations and whatnot in order to write a successful sex/morning after scene. That may not make sense to anyone who isn't me and, if so, I apologize for that.

My horoscope today maintains that I'll be hitting the bullseye soon. And sooner than I think. I'm looking forward to that.

But right now I am looking forward to taking the dogs outside for a romp in the yard as it is fairly warm outside and completely dry. This will likely be followed by a batch of chocolate chip muffins (just add milk!) and me staring at the monitor and a little blinking cursor which I probably won't accuse of mocking me. Probably.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Worst Story Ever Told

So, we're in Week Two of NaNoWriMo. Before we started, it was recommended that we tell everyone we know we were doing this project because it would be the only thing keeping us from quitting in week two. And so now here I am, in week two, and while I don't particularly want to quit, I have hit a wall.

Today's daily word goal is 15,000. I am somewhere around the 12,000 word mark. I think a story may be coming together, slow but surely, I hope a story's coming together.

While I wait, I'm reading. I'm currently checking out Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. It's a book about writing a fellow aspiring writer friend of mine recommended to me. I found myself in the pages of her introduction. Today I found myself in the chapter entitled Plot.

She says not to force it. Just let your characters do what they're going to do and eventually, amidst the ashes and whatnot, a plot will, like a phoenix, arise.

So that's what I'm doing. Waiting. Letting my character meander around, doing random things and having random conversations.

It's not my best work ever (Thus the whole 'worst story ever told' title). But it's all right because that's the point of NaNoWriMo. Lamott talks about that too, the shitty first draft. Just get it all out, get it down on paper (or word processor as the case may be) and later on, you can sift through the crap to find the gold.

And while I'm not sure I'll ever do anything with this NaNoWriMo project after November 30th, it's still good advice to follow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Television Week In Review (Week Ending 11/7/09)

Sunday

The Amazing Race: The teams fly off to the Netherlands which looks very windy and cold. The poker player girls got hung up on the detour. They weren't strong enough to hit the bell on the strongman game and weren't able to play golf. But at least they didn't quit...Oh wait. That's exactly what they did. Of course, they were last anyway and would've been eliminated regardless. All things considered, they did try really hard to hit the strongman bell. Brian and Brian's wife (don't know her name) are extremely lucky. Can't wait for next week when the teams have to do the dreaded haybale challenge.

Monday

How I Met Your Mother: Still don't like the Barney/Robin pairing but this was, overall, a pretty funny episode. There were a lot of funny moments. Barney's resolution to the dish washing problem, Marshall then thinking Barney was right and then his subsequent slap bet with Ted over it. Then Marshall botching the whole thing. Ah, good times. Made me wonder though when we might see Marshall dole out another slap. How many are we up to now? I count three (Slapsgiving, Robot show and the Robin Sparkles episode)...have I missed any?

Big Bang Theory: Sheldon teaches Leonard about football so Leonard can fit in with Penny's football loving friends. Loved it when Leonard said the thing about wanting to blend in and not look like an idiot and Sheldon replied "to fit in with Penny's friends I would think that's exactly what you wanted to look like." Also, big shout out to the BSG toaster. Woo Hoo!

Dancing With the Stars: Mya and Dmitri keep getting bitch slapped by Len for the choreography which is done by Dmitri, not Mya. So my question is, why doesn't Dmitri change the damn way he choreographs? She's the most technically talented dancer out there, get the girl some tens! Also, Tom Bergeron is the best damn reality show host out there. His show is live, actually live, and he never misses a beat. Give this man that sham of an emmy next time around, people.

Castle: Another fine outing. This episode was written by Jose Molina who used to work with Joss Whedon...it's a small world, isn't it?


Tuesday

So You Think You Can Dance: Thee tappers made it to the top twenty this season and two of them are out. That kind of sucks. Still don't like Ashley.

Dancing With the Stars Results: The Ballas Hough band is a joke. Michael and Anna and Mark and Lacey are out. Figured they wouldn't boot Aaron and Karina over one of those two.


Wednesday

The Middle: This show makes me laugh. Still strange seeing Neil Flynn as someone other than the Janitor but, it's funny.

Modern Family: Hysterical. Seriously, you should check this show out.


Thursday

Bones: I didn't much like this episode. Everyone was very weird. I said that Angela needed to get laid before Dr. Sweets said it. And then I said that she could get it on with Wendell just before she did just that. Did like Cam's comment "Maybe Angela would twirl him..."

Fringe: Maybe it was the cough syrup, but I was kind of bored with this episode. The effects were cool but the whole thing was just too slow or something for me. Made me seriously think about changing the channel.

The Mentalist: The problem with these cop shows is that the cops always seem to look stupid. They can't close their case without Jane (the man they call...Jane...) and don't know what to do without him. It's a problem in this episode because Jane gets arrested. He still manages to solve the case from jail (and even manages to stage a jail break) and everything's all right by the end of the episode...mostly because Lisbon went and blackmailed Bosco. Ooooh...intrigue.

The Office: Jim and Pam go on a double date with Michael and Helene, Pam's mother. Everything's going fine until Michael realizes just how old Helene really is. Then chaos ensues. Loved the part where, after Pam decides she wants to hit Michael, when Toby comes over to make sure the incident will happen off company property and then gives Pam pointers on how to hit him. The Dwight/Andy storyline was a little tiring.

30 Rock: Brian Williams has such a great sense of humor. I always love it when he goes on The Daily Show and I loved seeing his appearance here. Too damn funny. Then Kathy sang "I Dreamed a Dream" like Susan Boyle and the robot is the new TGS cast member. Also love the product placement bits.

Vampire Diaries: Didn't get to watch it because I have to record Flash Forward since that's a show both Joe and I watch. I intended to watch it online but apparently, the CW is like Fox and doesn't post the new episodes right away. Jerks.

Flash Forward: Weird thing. Just before the young black guy does a header off the top of the building, I was telling Joe how I fully expected someone who had a flash forward to do something that would change the future and viola. Leoben (as in Cylon Leoben) guests as a mastermind of an underground club for people who didn't have flash forwards.

Project Runway: The final five. Irina, Carol Hannah and Althea are going to fashion week. I fully expect Irina to win because out of the three, I think she has the most ability. I'd love to see her and Kenley in a room together. Two women enter...whose ego leaves?

Supernatural: Need any more proof that this is the best damn show on television? Just watch this episode. The boys get stuck in TV land by the trickster and chaos ensues. Hysterical chaos. Loved the opening credits, the genital herpes commercial, the total Grey's Anatomy spoof, the David Caruso spoof, the Knight Rider bit, everything. A massive amount of hysterics with just a little dash of hellfire and seriousness right there at the end. Plus, next week's preview show Chuck the Prophet at the Supernatural convention complete with Fan boys! Woo Hoo!

Friday

Monk: Haven't gotten to this episode yet. Spend Friday night trying to meet my NaNoWriMo goal. Made it too. Go me!

White Collar: See above.


Saturday

Legend of the Seeker: It's baaaaaaaaaack. I am so freaking excited about this premiere. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to watch it yet. But I'm sure it's bloody brilliant.

Robin Hood: Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to watch it yet. Stupid day job. But I'm sure it's bloody brilliant.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Store Gets the Flu and Other News

My NaNoWriMo word count goal for the day: 6,668. My Actual Current Word Count: 5,144

So, I'm sick. I have a headache, sore throat, runny nose and a cough. I have a serious chill (even with my snuggie) and my appetite is also on the fritz. According to Joe, I do not have N1H1 (or is it H1N1?) because a sore throat is not a symptom of swine flu. But whatever it is, it sucks.

I can't sing. And I love to sing. Every time Dr. Horrible comes on the iPod, I have to ignore it and resist the urge to sing along because I can't currently sing. There's no power there and besides, it hurts too much.

But I still had to go to work today because Ruthie had the day off so there was no one to cover my shift. So I went. I sat in the parking lot and waited for Assistant Manager Heidi. She pulled in at 7:55 and proceeded to park next to a truck down at one end of the parking lot. Then she sat in her car and talked to the guy in the truck for a while. Meanwhile, I sat in my car and watched the time tick past. I didn't punch in until about 8:10, ten minutes late. Which didn't really make me happy. If she's going to have an affair, the least she can do is have it on her own time. Or, at the very least, stop making me lose time. Assistant Manager Heidi fixed my time for me though so then I was less angry.

I then took my dosage of cough/cold medicine. Had to wait until I got to work because sometimes, cough/cold medicines make me loopy and I figured I shouldn't be loopy behind the wheel of a car. I have to take the non-drowsy kids' medicines because the adult stuff (drowsy or not) will knock me out.

Here's what I learned about taking children's cold medicine at work:

1. Make sure you have eaten breakfast first. An empty stomach does not help the loopiness.

2. When one is loopy on cold medicine, one should probably avoid both ladders and scaling stockroom shelves. Falling is inevitable.

3. One tends to mind one's manager's blatant incompetence a lot less when one is loopy on cold medicine.

So yeah. Sales Associate Marge came in and told me that Ruthie had to go home early yesterday because she was sick. Lazy Susan called out completely because she was sick. No loss there, really. Super Scott also had to call out sick.

None of us are immune. I'm supposed to work again tomorrow. Ruthie's also supposed to be working tomorrow. I'm fully expecting a call from her either tonight or tomorrow morning saying she's still too sick to work. We'll see what happens...

In other news, Maine voters (or at least 53% of them) repealed the gay marriage law. Well, thank god your children are safe from gay marriage (sarcasm.). Congratulations on making the small minded, judgmental choice, 53% of Maine voters.

I stumbled across a new band that I'm really getting into. Their name is Bat For Lashes and I first heard them on a recent episode of The Vampire Diaries so I went out to Amazon to download that one song. I ended up downloading an entire album and am resisting the urge to download the rest of their albums.

Thought I'd close today's blog with my horoscope. It's a pretty cool one, and relevant too.

Your stars align to create powerful momentum. Now that you've got the ball rolling, make sure it keeps going the right way. Keep your eye on the goal. A coach (ideally a Taurus) will help you stay on track.

It's nice to have momentum.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NaNoWriMo Update #2: Two Partially Formed Characters In Search of a Plot

So, today's writing goal is to reach the 5,000 word mark.

I am currently hovering around 4,300 which, all things considered, isn't bad. It's certainly better than I thought I'd be doing.

What a difference a day makes. Today, I am much happier with the project. Still don't know where the story's going to go. Still don't know much about my main characters. Well, my heroine is the tough talking, wildly sarcastic, yet ultimately insecure woman I predicted she would be. She also has roommate and a German Shepherd named Rufus. Thought about giving her a Doberman instead but my German Shepherd loyalty won out in the end. Anyway, She's fired from her job and goes to celebrate/drown her sorrows at a local bar. This is when she meets The Man. They have a long, sarcastic conversation (makes up the bulk of the story so far).

And that's it.

I know nothing about The Man. Don't even really know what he looks like yet but I intend to figure that out this afternoon as I suspect it'll help greatly with my word count.

As would a plot. But baby steps, people, baby steps. The plot will come.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cat Snot and No Plot

Brought Scaredy Cat back to the vet today. It was another re-check appointment after the latest round of medications. We didn't have the rousing success that we had had earlier this year. There's still some sneezing (but very little discharge) but not a lot. There's still some wheezing but not a lot. This led Dr. Alfred to develop a new theory. My cat (possibly) has asthma.

Fortunately, it doesn't come with a little cat inhaler or anything. Just more steroids. It's another experiment, I guess. I keep giving her steroids (possibly for the rest of her life) and it'll help keep her healthy. I have to call in a week and give him a progress report. And we'll go from there.

In other news, I'm officially two days into NaNoWriMo. I stayed up until midnight Halloween night so that I could start writing right away. I was jazzed, I was ready...

I was delusional.

Don't know what I thought might happen. A beautiful, error free manuscript would just pour out of me onto my laptop. That would be the most likely suspect, wouldn't it? It didn't quite happen that way.

I started with the notes I had scribbled down earlier. I wrote my dialogue that I wanted to write. I started to add to the dialogue, adding stuff before and after the dialogue. And then things came to a screeching halt as I realized I don't have a plot.

Turns out a plot might be kind of important.

The goal is to write 1,667 words a day in order to stay on par with the 50,000 words by month's end. Which is about 69 words an hour. Which is little over one word a minute. And that's working twenty four hours a day with no sleep or interruptions.

Anyway, I'm getting off track. What I meant to say is that my goal for yesterday was to hit 1,667 words. I ended up with 1,612 words. Most of them crap. And I hate it. I really, really hate it.

This was supposed to be fun, right?

I need to stumble onto a plot and quickly too. I am trying to steer a rudderless ship or whatever and the novelty has worn off.

But yet, I am committed (or should be...) to this. I will do my utmost to persevere.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October 2009 Book Report

Green Rider- Kristen Britain- So I really wanted to like this book, I really, really did. She’s a Maine fantasy writer who lives on Mount Desert Island. I really, really wanted to like this. But I didn’t. It didn’t feel like very sophisticated fantasy for me. There were parts that made me want to rewrite it and parts that just felt too…fantasy for me, which sounds weird, I know, but I like fantasy that makes you forget you’re reading a fantasy novel. George R.R. Martin does that very well and sometimes Terry Goodkind (although I do think he suffers from an overuse of Deux Ex Machine) does as well. This felt forced at times and just irritating at others. For example, a part at the end had me rolling my eyes because there was a group of the white hats on their way to save the city from the black hats and they’re like stopping for a historical sight seeing tour. I know fantasy writers develop these worlds and detailed histories for their worlds but there are better ways to get the information out there. That said, I’ll read the rest of them. It’s what I do.

The Professional- Robert B. Parker- The latest Spenser novel. There were many funny moments in this book. One, in particular, right at the beginning of chapter seventeen that I really want to write here but I don’t think my sister has read this one yet and I don’t want to ruin it for her. Anyway, liked the humor. I’ve been somewhat anti-Susan of late and this book doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot to change my mind (guess I never really got over Valediction and A Catskill Eagle…) but if she makes Spenser happy, I guess I can deal.