SUI GENERIS punk rock bike shop home-brew art/craft love

Liveblogging the sprint to NaNoWriMo victory

7:04 - Starting word count: 43,076. 6,924 words to go before midnight. I've got my coffee with sugar and a piece of toast with peanut butter for breakfast.

8:26 - Got my first thousand words and then some. Switched from Antonio Carlos Jobim to Poison the Well. The original last-day plan called for a day off and a leisurely wrapup. Instead, I'm going in to work and taking Lola to the vet at noon (something wrong with her left hind leg). I am all about the added challenge this year! (word count 44,524)

9:45 - Two thousand words down. Stavesacre to Appleseed Cast. I'm trying to pace myself so I don't run out of words before I run out of story. Less than five thou to go now. (word count 45,115)

10:17 - At The Drive-In is on now. I'm on call for work this morning, so the goal is to write as much as possible before I need to go in this afternoon. (word count 45,418)

10:27 - My main characters totally just had sex. (word count 45,606)

11:42 - Double-decker muenster/pepperjack sandwiches, grilled to perfection: The Brunch of Novelists. I'm more than half done for the day, which means I'm closer and closer to my 50,000 word goal for the month. I need to bring our puppy in to the dog doctor and then go to work, but I'm in a good position to wrap up in time to watch E.R. tonight. (word count 46,664)

1:23 - Time to head in to the office for the afternoon. I'm ending my efforts for the first half of the day with a word count of 47.330.

6:12 - I'm back, mother grabbers! And I've got my novel writing cap on.

7:23 - word count 47,936. That stretch was tough. It's sad writing a death scene for my main character! I had kind of grown attached to her. Now, on to the denouement. The rest should be easier, I think, let's see if I can wrap it up soon.

7:36 - Broke 48,000. I like those round number landmarks.

9:14 = the end.

A New Hope

It's been a bad month for me, computer-wise. First I fried my Windows partition with a nasty virus. So, I wiped my secondary hard drive clean and switched it over to Ubuntu Linux as a temporary replacement OS. Last night, I somehow managed to destroy all that stuff by accidentally deleting the entire file structure. Of course, I had not learned from my mistakes and created a backup, so nearly everything was lost again. Against all odds, I managed to pull it together and create a new website for the 2007 Craftstravaganza!!.

All other consequences aside, the worst part was losing bits of my novel-in-progress along the way. When Windows went down, it took my first 5,000 or so words with it. This was bearable and I hoped to clean the infected files at some point in the future and possibly recover it all. I happy continued writing from where I left off in my Linux system, until it was hilariously also botched, irretreivably losing all my files.

So, at this point, I've written over half of a novel, but it's 26,792 words that I will never see again. I was already falling behind schedule, so I thought about giving up on NaNoWriMo and decided... damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead, I'm going to finish this thing anyway! I will start over tonight and refer to the rest as "The Lost Chapters." It'll be like Episode IV, jumping into an epic story with a beginning that nobody else has seen (and which might be better off that way). Despite these tiny setbacks, I shouldn't even break a sweat. 23,208 words in ten days? Pah! I've written an entire book in less time than that.

A defunct Dotonbori institution

Rarmen restaurant: 1970-2005?? R.I.P.

Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect Device

Boing Boing posted some classic punk videos that I am enjoying. The crowd shots are my favorite part of this video. This was a time before 1-inch buttons were invented. A simpler time.

Bike Kill 2005 THE SEQUEL

Double feature! Click for the original Bike Kill.

End Times for the Grease Pit neighborhood bike shop alleycat party

d00ds I guess 2:30 at the bench is all you need to know if you do these things on a habitual basis. Bike down and show your support for a community resource for West Bank cyclers. I'll be the one on the single speed Batavus Monte Carlo going really slow and looking lost because I'm a St. Paul boy and I am not hip to the 612. Don't miss it...

I posted this at the Sibley Bike blog too. It needs some love.

Lock picking for fun

I have just chosen a new hobby to pick up after finishing this year's novel: Locksport! Lockpicking seems like a good practical skill just in case I'm in a tight bind and need to pick a lock for some reason. It goes in my category of stuff to learn next to hotwiring and sign language. Remember, you can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your friends' locks (unless they give you permission first).

p.s. (Christmas is coming up and this would make a nice stocking stuffer)

Writing life

I'm posting here more than I expected on account of the new approach I'm taking to the novel writing process this year. I've done it and won it (written 50,000 words in a month) for the past two years, but both those were kind of a crazy rush. 2004 was the first year I attempted NaNaWriMo, and I wasn't even sure if I could do it at all. That year was all about sleep-dep and intensive focus on the writing. As it turned out, I finished really quickly so I probably didn't need to do that after all.

Last year I wasn't even sure if I would end up doing the novel and then wrote the thing even faster than the first year. This time around, I'm trying to take it easy. My challenge for 2006 is to write the novel and maintain a normal life at the same time. 50,000 words is still a goal, but it's not my main priority.

So far, this plan is working out just fine--I'm on track with over 2,000 words per day--and I dig it. Frequent breaks make the writing go easier and I get inspired by doing real things as a real life person. Under my new plan, I've had time this month to visit old friends, attend a party in Minneapolis, and meet new neighbors down our block. Weirdly, I actually feel more active, outgoing and energetic than I do in a normal month. If this year goes well, maybe my challenge for next year will be to write a draft that's actually good!

My computer is hosed

Image from Express

Thank Linux for Ubuntu! Windows has been basically demolished by some kind of virus/spyware attack that I've been fighting for a couple of days, until this morning I remembered that I have a startup disk for an operating system that is friendly and virus-free! I booted up my Ubuntu Live CD and decided to give up on Windows for now while I get back to work on my novel. As soon as I figure out how to install plugins, I'll get that word count updated.

WriMo has begun.

There'll be no further postings until my 50,000 word draft is done, unless I get inspired or hit by a car and forced to give up. LOOK HERE for fancy info word count etc. If you so crazy that you're doing it too (Annie? How's it looking this year?) for sure let's add me as a writing buddy ok! I'm off!