Winner (Kind of, Partially, Not Really IMHO)

Although I struggled to write anything, and although a good part of what I did write was, um, “garp,” my NaNaWriMo 2011 experience has ended happily and, officially, successfully. Just check that meter to the right (which I will delete in a few more days) or, more permanently, that NaNoWriMo 2011 Winner’s Badge toward the bottom of the second column.

Or this…

My Official Certificate

I wasted most of my time most of the days this past month (without exaggeration — I really did, just as I slipped through the first months of 2011 fruitlessly), but with blushing and partial success I made some important progress on the horror story (including a detailed calendar of events for James Arkham and others in 1993-94). Unfortunately, just like my efforts last year on Slaves to the Lesser Moon, the taleʼs not done. How utterly like me.

I would feel a lot more successful if I believed that every word really counted (this year) and that I might (someday… ever) finish these long items.

Yes, faithful readers (who may actually remember other comments I have made on my partial success this year), much of what I wrote may never actually get used,* but 51916 sleazy words later,** the month of November draws to a close. Now I have weeks of completion and revision ahead of me. But first, I think I may take a little vacation/digression/diversion for the writing topic that was drawing my attention when the month began and kept distracting me throughout these past twenty-eight days — Søren and Judah.***

And yes, a gentle and (for me, at least) enjoyable review of the excellent time The Lovely One and I enjoyed in Budapest. I think that starts tomorrow…

See you then (so to speak).

* “May,” ha! Probably will not get used.

** NaNoWriMoʼs count (52174), which may include chapter numbers and titles and suchlike, runs a bit higher than the count I was keeping in Scrivener. I feared the goal count was higher than I might end up with after compilation, so I kept going (necessarily, not just worriedly). And I need to keep going.

*** My first big project, commencing today and tomorrow, is going to be finishing the dictation of handwritten text for that first of the interlocking Sepharad stories (and the part of story #2 that I have already handwritten). Dragon Dictate and my microphones have had it too easy (as have I) for far too long. (Besides, one of the two versions I have composed of our first days on vacation — along with most of our Alaska trip, 2010, too — is handwritten and in need of dictation into digital reality, as well.)

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Thanksgiving Aftermath

Wow. Nearly the entire month of November has slipped away without even a breath of a post here. I wish I could say that I have been writing diligently for NaNoWriMo, but even though my word-count (now illustrated in the bright new, but sadly belated widget to the right) is pretty close to the norm, I have mostly just wasted my time (still) this month. (And I know full well that a good slew of what I have written and counted toward that total is worthless and I will probably never use it. Sad to say, but bitterly true.)

The box set iTunes is frustrating me about right now.

Anyway, The Lovely One is busily decorating for Christmas today (as per annum), my crapulous iMacʼs optical drive repeatedly refuses to acknowledge or read the final three disks from The Jimi Hendrix Experience Winterland box set (does anyone else think Apple does that — makes their hardware/software refuse to load CDs — deliberately to drive iTunes users to buy/download from that damnable store?*),and I have been raking (yet again — umpteenth time, again) to clear the oak leaves, originating across the street, from our yard. I only got the eastern side and half the back yard raked (and another mostly full truckload of leaves delivered to the dump site) before concluding the windʼs just too strong (damn southerly gale) to keep at it longer — much to your delight/misery, readers.

However, updating my word count with NaNoWriMo today reminded me to see about widgets they provide, and finding many, I placed one into the sidebars. And that procedure made me realize that I havenʼt written a word since the first of the month for good old Wakʼs Blog. So here are a few words.

I do have some parts of a travelogue on our Budapest trip completed, and I will upload those, or words very like those, as a post or two over the next few days, along with some pictures. Otherwise, having not eaten more than some soda crackers — a few with cheese — today, I had better keep this short to be able to help Janet make supper from the leftovers we snatched home from her mother yesterday. (Yum — both for the original Thanksgiving feast and the cold and/or reheated leftovers today and whenever after.)

I hope everyone felt appropriately thankful yesterday, and that those who went shopping all night/today enjoyed themselves (my beloved and I might venture into a store by tomorrow or Sunday). And now I must try to create a Christmas-gift suggestion list for my family, to get in the old e-mail ASAP.

Merry weekend, all!

* Personally, for every time a CD wonʼt load, I schedule not buying anything from the iTunes store. Itʼs around 576 albums I wonʼt buy from Apple right now…

And, yes, any suggestions on how to make the optical drive actually work (and not just kick a valid CD back out) would be gratefully appreciated. ASAP.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

…and weʼre off!

Supposedly, as the picture-title indicates, writer at work (maybe) with presumed thinking cap on…

Itʼs the first of November. This fact shocked me this morning.

Strangely, even though I was admittedly aware that yesterday was Halloween (no matter that here in Our Town the powers-that-be always see fit to have the kids go around trick-or-treating on any day near the end of October that isnʼt actually Halloween — this year on Sunday), I had an actual moment of light-bulb-over-head, smack-the-noggin awareness of the date at about 10:00 AM (while reading the TLS from about a month ago, the issue with John Speke on the cover) that, “Good grief, todayʼs November 1.” Followed about five minutes later by, “NaNoWriMo starts.”

I hadnʼt even registered my novel yet.

Duh.

And I still had to rake leaves and mow the yard, too. That was my plan for Tuesday/today (after all, itʼs crystalline-clear blue skies and 70° today; itʼs going to rain and the temperatureʼs going to drop a couple dozen degrees tomorrow).

So I did. (Rake and mow, that is.) The job(s) took me until 1:30. I hadnʼt even turned on the computer for the day yet. Once I did, and once I checked e-mail and Facebook newsfeed, reading several articles and such that popped up in one place or another, and dealt with a few practical matters of household finance, it was 4:15.

Surely too late to start a novel this year. Surely…

But I pressed on, logged into NaNoWriMo and set up my novel. Even though I had spent most of yesterday (including half-dreams part of last night) brain-writing Søren-and-Judah stuff (and realizing I have a big travelogue on Budapest to write, if only for my brother Stephen, to whom I owe a letter, too), I registered my eastern Iowa horror novel, giving it the title Quetzal County, Iowa. (I know, really lame, but then no one ever came through, when I was posting stuff last year for that story, with any usable title suggestions. Of course, nobody but me really knows whatʼs going on in the story, either…) I also updated my “Author Profile” a bit haphazardly and without much effort (although I did add a picture this year — thatʼs me on our Danube Cruise in Budapest last Thursday*).

And then I set up a new Scrivener project just for the NaNoWriMo 50,000 words I intend to add to the story. Right now itʼs got two “chapters” or folders — one for Arkhamʼs Diary, the other for “Symonds Stuff.” (I also spent a while refamiliarizing myself with my characters — notice I now recall their names).

Then I hacked out a thousand words (actually 1005, according to the Scrivener Project Targets, of which I was reminded by a timely blog post from Scrivener guru Gwen Hernandez, also undertaking her own NaNoWriMo novel, today — one of the items or activities that kept me from being productive, writing, until after 4:30). An actual thousand words…

Whether I end up using them or not.

And so I have begun…

* Although you will have to click the link to my NaNoWriMo information to see the picture I am talking about.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.