Monthly Archives: October 2003

NaNo 2003 Eve

Do you feel it, my fellow NaNos? The heart beating slightly faster, that tremble in the fingers?

We’re in the last fifteen minutes before November First. My husband has just prepared a new sketchbook, and has sharpened pencils with his knife. I’ve cleared off the end of my desk and plugged in my laptop. There’s a pot of Lady Grey brewing.

Word count must be posted before we sleep. This is a lousy time for a headache to attack my right temple.


I am much, much too awake for almost-eleven-thirty on a weekday night.

In a fit of irritation with Canada Post’s ineptitude at tracking XpressPost packages this afternoon, I searched the USPS site for my lost-in-transition packet of contracts. (You know, the one that was supposed to be on the managing editor’s desk by Tuesday? The one that was guaranteed to be at its destination on Monday by the very latest?) It was delivered Wednesday afternoon. I’m so relieved that it got there, I’m not even upset that it missed the deadline by one day. (Okay, I’m a wee bit upset. Just a wee bit.)

A single day remains until NaNo begins. I now have a couple of 5×7 inch pages of notes. Not, of course, on plot, but on potential characters. I’m beginning to understand that my approach to novel-writing mirrors my approach to role-playing: the story grows out of the characters and their choices. I’d write terrible mystery novels; I’m just not interested in working the puzzle out. I like watching how people interact while they puzzle-solve, instead.

I’m going to go light some candles, put on some relaxing music, and read in bed for a while. Maybe that will help the wakefulness.

NaNo Noodling

Other NaNo folk keep asking what I’m going to write about. If I knew…

Seriously, though, I was much further along in my pre-production development last year. This year I have a couple of character names, a psychic ferret, and an opening scene.

And that’s about it.

This year will be an interesting experiment in a stream-of-consciousness style of writing. I’ve done this with the Great Canadian Novel (and more academic papers than I care to remember; how I maintained an A- average, I will never know), and countless short stories; even a certain amount of last year’s NaNo success And By Many Other Names used the technique. This year will be quite different, though.

I’m finally reaching a point where I’m becoming interested in actively writing once again. After the amount of editing and work-for-hire writing I’ve been doing, and my aversion to the computer, the idea of creating an entire inclusive fictional work is appealing. I still think I might write a lot of it longhand, which is a huge departure for me; it will make verification difficult, though, and I don’t want to waste time retyping when I could be creating. I’ve enjoyed writing longhand this fall so far, but it might not be practical for November.

I think I’ll take some time this afternoon with my notebook and brainstorm some ideas. Along the way I’ll make notes on what kind of research books I’ll need at my side. For example, last year I had a stack of reference books on Isis by my computer (thereby commencing a lifelong connection with Her). For the Great Canadian Novel, I found travel books on Paris. This year, I need books on ferrets and Hecate.

Yes. Ferrets and Hecate. You read that right. Two words you never expected to see together. It isn’t, alas, a GoogleWhack.


Someone explain to me how increased violence in Iraq means that the US is succeeding in whatever it is that they think they’re doing over there? Please?

Just Because

There’s nothing like receiving a present on someone else’s birthday!

We went out to Fondumentale last night (highly recommended!) to celebrate Roo’s first quarter-century, and Maia-at-Twilight gave her a tin of tea from Betjeman & Barton, the Westmount tea shop on Sherbrooke. I bounced around because I love that shop, and seeing the red bag meant that good things were inside. Then Maia-at-Twilight handed me a little packet of tea, a present for no particular reason – the very best kind. “I had to,” she said. “Look at the name.”

Sonate d’Automne. Well, of course she had to.

It’s an eau de fruits, similar to a tisane, and it’s delicious. It has almonds, and a mellow smoky fruit flavour. Perfect for an overcast fall day. I think it’s about to become a NaNo tea. Last year’s NaNo tea was, of course, Twining’s Lady Grey. The drink of choice for the Great Canadian Novel (when I’m working on it, that is; once I realised that I had accidentally finished writing it, I decided to leave it until 2004 and then edit it, since it’s essentially finished and requires only the current chapters rejigged, and possibly a chapter added) is Vanilla Coke. Odd how I associate certain beverages with certain projects.

I scurried about tying up loose ends of work and such yesterday. As of eleven-ish, my contracts still hadn’t arrived in Massachussets, so I’m rolling up my sleeves to give the US postal service a kick to help them along. The Canada Post tracking service informs me that the packet left Canada on the 22nd, so the delay is on the US side. XpressPost guarantees three to five day delivery, so it ought to have been there last week. That sound you hear is my foot tapping.

Still Alive

The first rehearsal went rather well for someone sight-reading dramatic tempo changes and key changes all over the map.

We played the Puccini Credo, which always gives me weak knees. To play it was an incredible experience. I’m going to have to put in a lot of focused rehearsal time over the next two and a half weeks in order to catch up. It will be wonderfully worth it, though.

Cello Stuff

It’s official – I’m playing in Cantabile’s November 15 concert. Details are below on the left in the Performing box. If you’re a fan of vocals or choral music, this is the one to go to; Puccini’s Messa di Gloria is something else again.

And look what I found: photos from the LCO Canada Day concert! This is a beautiful shot of my back:

Yes, that’s the lovely black linen dress I found for summer concerts. Too bad you can’t see the shoes I found to go with it…