Monday, November 12, 2007

Almost, But Not Quite

I met my goal Sunday morning at around 6 AM. I’m going to consider this a failure because it was several hours late. I went to bed at 7 with my alarm set for 10, but when the alarm went off I shut it off completely and went back to sleep. I was just too exhausted. I got up around 2 and started immediately on the task of reaching 20k. I did make it, but not under my original terms, so I’m now 0 for 2 in the “Challenge Yourself” contest I’ve been playing.

As of this update I am at 22,060. The new challenge is to hit 30k by the end of the night on Thursday the 15th. That gives me almost four days to get just under 8k done. It shouldn’t be a problem, but I said the same thing about the goals I made the last two times. I’m upping the stakes here, so instead of a paperback I’ll be buying something else I’ve been wanting for a year or more: a bottle of Caran d’Ache Caribbean Sea Ink. I haven’t picked it up yet because it seemed too close a color match for one of the inks I’ve been using, J. Herbin’s Diablo Menthe, but I’m still dying to own a bottle.

Speaking of inks and pens, I haven’t picked up either of my Moleskines in a long time. I really ought to get back into personal journaling, especially considering this blog only covers one facet of my life. It’s an important part of what I do and how I spend my days, but there’s a lot more I could be writing down. I’ve invested a lot in writing instruments and here I am using a keyboard for everything. It’s somewhat depressing, to be honest.

Today, when I get home, I will write at least two pages in my Moleskine. I will fill this book and buy a new one soon, maybe one of the nice 2008 red editions. That’s my goal for today.

I sent my short story Wings in for consideration at The Abacot Journal once it was rejected from Tabard Inn. The Abacot Journal is apparently a brand new online literary magazine run by another NaNo participant. I know a lot of writers (especially those with more credits to their names than I) frown upon giving their work to both new magazines and online magazines, but nothing makes me happier than doing something that could quite possibly be mutually beneficial. If a quality piece I write (and I’m quite fond of Wings) finds a home somewhere new that ends up lasting, we both win. And if it doesn’t work out, I’m not at the stage in my writing “career” where submitting to somewhere small could hinder me.

I’m learning quite a bit about my own writing abilities through this extended exercise. I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I am not very strong in the dialogue department. I have a tendency to let one character talk while another gives one-word answers, or let everyone argue about nothing. It seems stunted, weak and one-dimensional in places, but I’ve been known to be unusually hard on myself. I’ll have to go over my book on dialogue when I go home. I could probably use a bit of help when I rewrite chapters One and Three, and I’d like to get that out of the way as soon as possible. I’m having too much fun advancing the story right now, though. Maybe once I have met my next goal I can take a day or two to rewrite the places I feel are weakest.

You know what I haven’t gotten much of since October? Exercise. Between being busy typing and the dismal turn the weather has taken, I haven’t gotten any exercise in. It hasn’t had any adverse effects yet, but we’re going to nip this new habit in the bud starting today. If the weather is too cold for a walk, I’ll be in front of the elliptical watching one of the many DVD sets I’ve paid for but have yet to finish (or even start, in some cases). Considering how far ahead of plan I am at the moment it shouldn’t be that difficult to manage.

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