Posted in random thoughts, writing

Trapezoidal Pegs in Square Cubes

I thought about e-mailing MJ and whining about this, but then I thought some of you might be able to relate to life in cubicle hell and enjoy this.

So the Nebbish arrives at the office roughly 9:30 this morning (nice for him, eh?) I had a few days off from the Nebbish, but he’s back and more of an asshat than ever. Even my overly loquacious boss who likes to hear himself talk and will commandeer virtually any conversation with his own tales of whatever subject has been raised, seemed uninterested in Nebbish’s ramblings this morning. And then, just as I thought he’d gotten over whatever indigestion had caused him to spew minutiae about his phone call with his own boss this morning, he walked over to my boss’s cube (which is next to mine, but Nebbish is just across the aisle and can see into mine which was why I was going to put up the bead curtain, but then didn’t… more on that later) he launched into a story about his upcoming colonoscopy, and why he’s having it. Hand to god, as if anyone cared, he’s standing there telling this, not even trying to talk quietly. My boss made one comment to him in reply, something to the effect of “been there” and then even he was mum on the subject. For crying out loud, TMI!

Now, I realize men get very freaked out about this particular procedure, but I’ve been through a C-section, so forgive me if I’m completely unsympathetic about procedures that don’t involve slicing you open, staples in your gut, and massive painkillers for a week afterwards (all while dealing with a brand new infant).

And the reason I finally decided not to put up the bead curtain was I realized if I did that, if the Nebbish came over to talk to me, he’d actually have to step inside my cube behind said curtain, like a private little tête-à-tête. Not happening. I don’t want that little dweeb anywhere near me, much less hiding in my cube with me.

. Yes, I know this isn’t a trapezoid, but it IS what I’d like to do to the Nebbish. I swear he’s going to end up in one of my novels someday, and it won’t be pretty.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, writing

Creepy-Crawly — NaNoWriMo Day 11

Down to a crawl. I got a little over 1100 words written yesterday, so about 500 short of the daily goal. I’ve been trying to get 2000 words a day. I’m still marginally ahead of where I’d be at a steady pace of 1667 words per day, so not too bad but I’m starting to fear falling into a repeat of last year’s outcome.

I knew eventually I was going to write this book as it’s intended to be the prequel to the novel I was working on before I started the vampire novel, but I had done almost no planning for it, had the barest idea of a couple of characters, the setting. Now I’m struggling to get acquainted with the characters and I have so much research I’m going to have to go back and do later when there’s time. Right now I’m just focusing on word count, and wow is this bad!  I’m taking Chris Baty’s suggestion of putting anything I’m going to take out later in bold italics but not actually deleting it. I figure if he says it’s fair game, I’m good with it. I already know some scenes will be deleted in toto, the storyline may change, some conversations that are in there now will never see the light of day.

But that’s ok. I’m getting to know my characters, and it’s all part of the process. Although, I really need to have a chat with female MC  ’cause sometimes I just want to smack her.

Posted in writing

NaNoWriMo – Day 7 – My Terror

For those of you participating in this masochistic extravaganza that is NaNoWriMo, you should have the latest pep talk, a la a letter from Philip Pullman, in your inbox this morning. I think he’s talking to me. My greatest fear so far is that I won’t be able to sustain the work, that it will fizzle out, all ideas will flee the country, no forwarding address. I’ve never written a novel, so even though I knew going into this thing that whatever I produced as a result of it would never be publishable (is that a word?) I needed something to kick-start me into actually sitting down and writing Every. Single. Day.

If you haven’t signed up to torture yourself, here’s the point that really hit home for me:

You know which page of a novel is the most difficult to write? It’s page 70. The first page is easy: it’s exciting, it’s new, a whole world lies in front of you. The last page is easy: you’ve got there at last, you know what’s going to happen, all you have to do is find a resonant closing sentence. But page 70 is where the misery strikes. All the initial excitement has drained away; you’ve begun to see all the hideous problems you’ve set yourself; you are horribly aware of the minute size of your own talent compared to the colossal proportions of the task you’ve undertaken. That’s when you’ll want to give up.

Argh. See I sort of have an outline in my head of things I’m going to do to my heroine, situations I intend to drop on her. I even kind of know how she’s going to deal with it all. But will it last for 50,000 words? Do I really have enough ideas? She’s in the midst of her first trauma now, I’m not entirely sure what she’s going to do to get through this but today’s the day I find out.

Here’s another really pithy bit of advice. I can’t tell you how many times this has sunk me:

One of the hardest things to do with a novel is to stop writing it for a while, do something else, fulfill this engagement or that commitment or whatever, and pick it up exactly where you left it and carry on as if nothing had happened. You will have changed; the story will have drifted off course, like a sh ip when the engines stop and there’s no anchor to keep it in place;

Oh if I had a nickel for every idea that I lost because I didn’t write it down IMMEDIATELY, thinking “I’ll remember THAT, how could I forget THAT?” I’d have a pocketful of nickels. Maybe a whole purseful.