I’m not finished with the novel. In fact, I figured that 50,000 words would be about half of the total novel. But I have a good, solid start on it. I will need to shift much of my attention over to the final edits to the first novel so I can publish it, not to mention a Christmas Ghost story that must be ready to read in just three weeks (eeek!).
But right now, I’m very happy with how much I’ve written and how far the first draft of the third novel in this series has moved. Yay!
This is the first time I’ve used Scrivener’s Project Targets widget. It’s very cool. You set the word count target for the entire project, and Scrivener keeps track of it in the top bar. When you only have a few words written, the bar is red. As the bar grows, it changes to orange, then yellow, then yellow-green, turning a darker and darker green until you reach the goal. The lower bar is for shorter term goals you set. You can reset that bar any time you like, except that it always resets at midnight. Which works nicely with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), since writing every day and trying to average 1667 word a day is the goal.
I tweeted screenshots of my project targets over the course of the month, so here’s one of the earliest ones, when the upper bar representing the whole month was still in the red, and that particular day I was just getting into the orange.
November isn’t quite over, yet, and I haven’t reached the end of the novel, so I plan one continuing to work on this for a another day before I switch to the Christmas ghost story.
I also need to post an update on my yearly goals. I haven’t since early October, because everything was focused on NaNoWriMo this month. But I have not forgotten them!
Right now, I’m feeling very happy about the writing.
Readers Push Lucie’s Place Fundraiser Past Its Goal. So, because the Duggars donated $10,000 to the campaign to stop a gay rights bill in Arkansas, recorded a nasty robo-call about it, and have been drumming up hysteria at anti-gay rallies, one blogger begged his readers to make a small donation to a homeless youth center that tries to make a safe place for LGBT kids, and other bloggers amplified the signal. In less than 24 hours more than $20,000 was donated to Lucie’s Place. So let me take this moment to urge you, whereever you are, to donate some money to a local youth homeless shelter, such as Lucie’s Place (luciesplace.org), the Ali Forney Center (aliforneycenter.org) or YouthCare (youthcare.org).
I’ve spent way too much time thinking about, talking about, reading about, or ranting about bad things. It’s Thanksgiving, and the truth is that I have a lot to be thankful for. And sometimes it’s useful to stop and remind ourselves of the good things in our lives.
I’m thankful for:
my smart, sweet, sexy, long-suffering husband
people who help other people
people who don’t sweat the small stuff
my wonderful, crazy, sometimes infuriating relatives who probably find me even more bewildering than I ever do them
people who love
radio and wireless technologies
kittens and puppies and tigers and otters
portable music players
all my wonderful friends—who are talented, kind, giving, and must be the most patient people in the world, because they put up with me
Thank you, each and every one. And whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I hope you have a wonderful day full of blessings, because you deserve it!
I am frequently reminded that I live on a different planet that most of my relatives. I live on the planet where facts are things that can be verified by independent observations. They live on the planet where Fox News is a viable source of information. I live on the planet where freedom includes the right of consenting adults to choose to share their lives together, name each other legal next of kin, and obtains other legal rights and responsibilities, regardless of the gender or gender identity of the adults involved. Some of them live on the planet where freedom means the right for some people to discriminate on the basis of gender, or sexual orientation, or sexual identity, or religion.
Not all of the differences are so obviously stark, but I think that they must cringe at things I say and do at least as often as I am dismayed by some of the things they say and do. And I continue to be amazed that we get along as well as we do.
My dad is such a stereotype that people didn’t always believe me when I described him. To this day he regularly throws around the n-word, refers to the latino men who work on his crews as “wetbacks” and “spicks,” refers to any eastern asian-looking person as a “gook” or a “chink,” and so on. He will go on and on about all of the bad qualities he believes each of those groups share, if you let him. It is simply toxic to talk to him. The fact that he also speaks with a pronounced Oklahoma drawl, and that his conversation is peppered with words and phrases people associate with the south is just icing on the redneck cake.
My dad is the kind of racist that is almost too easy to spot. Guys like him make it very easy for the rest of us to pat ourselves on the backs and congratulate ourselves on being more enlightened. Because compared to him we clearly are.
I haven’t been posting much for a variety of reasons. NaNoWriMo is eating a lot of my time, for one. But the last two weeks there’s also been near constant pain.
It started a couple of Fridays ago when one of my big toes swelled up with gout. For the next eight days, every morning I woke up with a different toe on one of the feet swollen. The worse was one night when the pain woke me in the middle of the night, and I needed to go to the bathroom, but when I tried to stand up, I nearly collapsed. I literally crawled part of the way to the bathroom. I eventually hobbled downstairs where my cane was, but even with the cane the thought of going back upstairs was too daunting. So I put a heating pad on my feet and sat in the recliner until my husband woke up.
Most of the days that week I worked from home. When I did go in, I had to use the cane to get around, and since the temperatures outside were 10-15 degrees colder than usual for this time of year, and since cold tends to make gout worse, it wasn’t fun. The next week was better. Several mornings my feet were feeling close enough to normal that I almost left the cane at home. By the end of the day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I was really glad that I had taken it with me, because one joint was slightly swollen and in pain by the end of the day.
Thursday was the first evening I didn’t actually need the cane at the end of the day.
Friday was the only day I worked from home last week, and it was the first day that I felt like myself again. Usually on my work from home day, when I break for lunch, I start some soup cooking, and while it’s heating up, I’ll do a little housework. Unload and load the dishwasher, put away laundry, or some other task like that. It’s a nice way to stay away from the computer for a little bit and not think about work, right? But during all of my days working from home the previous week, I just didn’t have the energy. I didn’t have much energy for writing, either. I got writing done, but not at the rate I had been the previous couple of weeks.
It shouldn’t be a surprise, but it really felt weird and wonderful that day not to have at least one of my feet in pain. And it was the first day that I wanted to do housework. I didn’t just want to do it, I enjoyed doing it. Being about to move, to stand, the walk around without constantly bracing for how much the next step was going to hurt was almost enough to make me giddy.
So for the last few days I’ve been really grateful for the simple act of being able to walk without pain.
It’s Friday! The second Friday in November (even though tomorrow is the third Saturday, ooooooooooo)! The year is running out fast.
Last week I was worried about rain and flooding. This week, late-December/January type temperatures arrived a little early. One day my Seahawks stocking cap was too warm to keep on during the bus, the next day I was very, very glad that I’d put in the winter lining in the coat that morning, and wishing I had dug the scarf and gloves out of the bottom of the backpack before leaving the house. Weird!
Anyway, here is a collection of news and other things that I ran across over the course of the week which struck me as worthy of being shared:
The Sixth Stage of Grief Is Retro-computing: Networks Without Networks. This is a really beautiful piece that appears, at first glance, to be about computer nostalgia, and at second, to be about a relationship with an old friend who has passed, but while it covers both of those things, they aren’t want it’s about. It’s definitely worth reading the whole thing.
My Last Words to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Tomas Young, an Iraq war vet turned anti-war activist, passed away this week in Seattle at the age of 34. Tomas enlisted in the Army just two days after the 9/11 attacks. Following his training at Ft. Hood, Texas he was deployed to Iraq and paralyzed after being shot through his spinal cord just five days into his first tour.
Controversial Texas Restaurant Becoming A ‘Highly Rated’ Gay Bar. This is a story from earlier in the year, but a friend sent me the link, this snippet: “She say she would never broadcast her personal life in public. ‘As one who has been married for 45 years to my husband, I don’t think that it’s my role to stand in the street corner and start talking about the style of private life my husband and I have.'”, and then this translation: “I would never broadcast my heterosexual personal life in public. I would never tell everyone how I have been heterosexually married for 45 heterosexual years to my heterosexual husband heterosexually.” And I had to share.
Seventeen years ago today I had to sign some papers.
Then a couple of nurses turned off the monitors, removed the respirator tubes, and turned off the rest of the machines.
I held Ray’s hand, and said “Good-bye.”
I’d been crying off and on for hours—days, technically (though I’d only slept a couple hours out of the last few days, so it felt like one really long, horrible day).
I don’t remember if I cried again. My last chronologically-in-order memory is taking hold of his hand that one last time. My memories for the next few months are just fragments—bits and pieces of time scattered through a fog of bewilderment.
He promised me he would stay with me for the rest of his life. And he did.
When I started this year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I knew there would be days where I made very little progress. Events on our schedule included an all-day editorial work party, hosting Writers’ Night, an all-day roleplaying game session, and the Thanksgiving holiday, which involves an overnight trip out of town.
Last year had a similar schedule, so I made an effort on those weekend days that we didn’t have anything planned to me extra productive. And it worked out. I exceeded the goal by about 8500 words. I didn’t reach the end of the story, but I got of writing in.
This year, the first being on a Saturday (and with us having no conflicts), I was at 6,595 words by the end of the first weekend. That’s nearly double the number of words number you’d have at the average words per day necessary to hit the target of 50,000, so I felt that was a good start. I only got a few hundred in on the next day, but Tuesday through Thursday, I exceeded the daily goal each time.
Friday evening was when the gout and hay fever had both taken a significant turn for the worst. I wound up taking a long nap after finishing my work day, and was in a bad head space after, so hardly got any writing done.
Then the weekend was full, and as mentioned in yesterday’s post, I was battling pain in my foot all weekend, so I my productivity continued to suffer.
But, Monday night I managed to exceed the daily goal a little bit, and last night (as you can see in the graphic) I blew past it by more than a thousand words.
So, I’m still on track to hit 50,000 by the end of the month. Even though I have a few days with very little writing time available.