Monthly Archives: July 2006

ESTC Update

Total word count, ESTC: 4,676
New words today: 1,976

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
4,676 / 50,000

Wow; almost ten percent done. For some reason, that alarms me mildly. Today I wrote two rituals plus some stream of consciousness stuff on magical practice that will have to be prettified and expanded at a later date. (Not, alas, the aforementioned section on centering and grounding and basic energy use. I couldn’t face it; I just couldn’t. How do I say the same thing in a yet another way after doing it three times already?) As I mentioned the other day, rituals go fast and create a surprising amount of word count in a short period of time.

I remembered something that I’d forgotten around three o’clock. My window of maximum productivity is between two-thirty and six o’clock in the afternoon; it always has been, except for that odd little blip that had me doing prep work on the green witch book in the early morning for a short period of time. Now I don’t feel so bad about not being able to properly settle into writing until an hour or so into the afternoon. I’ll do research and reading in the morning then, and let what I could write about in the afternoon percolate in the back of my brain, and stop fretting about only getting a single-digit count of new words down before ye olde productive time kicks in.

It Haunts Me

For the fourth time running in writing a contracted book, I find myself having to include a discussion regarding basic energy use.


Curse me for being responsible.

I unplugged my computer from the router earlier to better ignore the siren song of the Internet and email, because I was using it as an escape from writing. (Seven new words; I had a lousy seven words for over two hours.) Then I had to plug it in again to do research. There is no way to win.

Back into the fray. At least now I’m at 515 words, which is approximately a 75% increase in output today so far.

Le Party

So we finally had that smallish birthday thing on Saturday afternoon, organised by Tal and co-hosted by him and Prospero’s Daughter. It was pleasant, but it ended up exactly as I had been trying to avoid in my own planning: I spent most of my time keeping an eye on Liam, so I never really got to relax or actually talk to people. I really appreciated it when a couple of people made a point of coming over to sit or stand next to me for a few minutes to share some time with me now and again, because I was feeling remarkably isolated. It was the trade-off I couldn’t avoid: if the people I wanted there were in attendance, then there was no one to watch Liam elsewhere. Everyone else seemed to be having a really good time, though, so I’m happy for that. The cake was awesome, and I deliberately took the corner bit so that I got extra icing and a huge buttercream rose on top. Although pretty much as soon as I finished that we had to flee because Liam was cranky and tired, which rushed the present-giving and subsequent thank yous, making me vaguely irritated and feeling like I’d never really had the opportunity to enjoy my own party, let alone have a second piece of cake.

And speaking of presents, I was caught completely by surprise by the group gift being a cheque to finally allow me to purchase the CD player for the car that I’ve been trying to get around to buying for two years now. We went out yesterday to research and price them, and if I add the gift certificate that was the birthday present from my in-laws, it will pretty much cover the cost of the unit we’ve chosen, the parts needed to fit it into the car, and the extended warranty. The vague plan is to go back to the store today before I pick up Liam to purchase it and make the appointment for installation later this week, which happens to be free as part of a current promotion. Thanks, everyone!

Notwithstanding the lack of a second piece of cake, I did have a cup of excellent beer given to me (liquid barley sugar that carried a 14% alcoholic kick!), and a cup of the now infamous Baronial sangria. I had to make myself hot dogs at home after Liam went to bed, though, because I’d only managed six bites of a brochette at the party what with making Liam’s dinner and feeding half a brochette to him, and dropping another half on the ground while sitting on the edge of the deck trying to feed myself and watch Liam eating at the same time.

Another excellent birthday gift was the first season of Slings & Arrows, given to me by Elim, the second and final disk of which we enjoyed after we got home.

All in all, I’ve liked that my birthday celebrations began the weekend before my birthday, and have sort of quietly been carrying on for the past three weeks, what with people handing me little gifts or treats or doing nice things for me here and there. Next year, though, if we do the party thing at all I’m putting my foot down and scheduling it when my in-laws are in town, even if that means August, because I want to be able to fully enjoy my own birthday extravagana.

In Which We See The Triumphant Return Of The Wordmeter

Not bad at all for day one of the writing schedule. Welcome back, little Wordmeter!

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
2,700 / 50,000

(Oh look, they recoded it to include the fractional percentages, so I don’t have to go in and fix the HTML myself.)

Total word count, ESTC: 2,700
New words today: 2,061

I started off with 639 words of notes and outline, if you’re wondering why the two numbers don’t match up on the first day.

The working title of the new book (Everything She Touches Changes) is too long to type out every time, so the acronym it is. This is the only time I’m going to explain it. Henceforth, it shall be a mystery.

It’s All Coming Back

Years of NaNo training are kicking in again.

Why use the word “contextualize” when you can say “create a context for”? Look, my word count just jumped three words higher!

(Yes, yes, I’ll tighten it up when the draft is done. Let me be for now. Word count is an artificial measure of accomplishment, but at least it’s something tangible to which I can point and say, “See, I did this today.”)

Paging Mr. Incredible

While we were over visiting his godparents yesterday, Liam found a copy of a recent movie magazine with a picture of Brandon Routh on the cover. His godmother held it up for him.

“Look, Liam!” she said. “It’s Superman! See: blue, and red, and yellow, and a big S.”

Liam looked at the picture seriously for a moment before pointing at it, breaking into a delighted smile, and saying, “Dada!”

Yeah, I think your Da’s pretty awesome too, kid. More along the Mr. Incredible line than Superman, but hey, you’ve demonstrated a decent understanding of the kind of guy he is. And that’s also awesome.

Got Writing?

There are many writerly folk who swing by here, so I’m posting a note about Jan’s second annual August Writing Challenge.

Here’s how Jan presents the project:

Jan’s August Writing Challenge
Write something every day in the month of August.

Sounds tough! What do I have to do?
Write. Something. Anything. Any length. Prose or poetry. Every day. For a month. And share it.

Sounds cool! How do I sign up?

* Join the august_writing community if you’re not already a member [Note: if you don’t have an LJ account, you’ll need to set one up so that you can join the community. It’s free, and you don’t have to actually use the journal; heck, I don’t, I only use it to join communities like this and leave comments!]
* Link to this post in your LJ or journal so that we can get as many people involved as possible
* Post either your writing, or a link to your writing, to the community every day in August, starting on Tuesday, August 1st, 2006.

Sounds simple! Are there any other rules?
Nope. Well, not really. It has to be creative writing – prose or poetry, of any any length, on any subject. Stuff you would normally be writing anyway counts (so, for those who write serials, that counts) but stuff you write for your job doesn’t. But it can be anything. Short fiction, short-short fiction, essays, character studies, stream-of-consciousness, writing exercises (like last year I’m going to try to post a different writing exercise every day for anyone who would like to use it), sections of a larger work you have in progress, etc. Anything at all, so long as it’s a self-contained piece of writing that you did that day. It would also be really cool if you could read and comment on a couple of other posts every day.

The problem I ran into last year was the stuff-you-write-for-your-job-doesn’t-count, because after working with the green witch rewrites and a six week old baby, there was no time left even for little bits. I think I managed to post things on eight days out of the thirty-one. This year may or may not be different, since I’ve got another book to deliver this fall. I’m going to give it my best shot, though.

It’s a terrific exercise, because everyone shares tips and tricks and supports one another in getting something, anything out every day. People who didn’t consider themselves writers joined and surprised themselves at how much they accomplished. We all saw some awesome stuff, saw some new projects develop, and shared insight into the creative process. Wander over, take a look, sign up and join the fun!