Monday, November 3, 2008

So Far, So Good

I recently commented that I believe good and bad things find a way to balance out. If a lot of good comes my way, I can't help but peer nervously around the corner to see what doom is lurking. On the flip side, when a whole lot of bad happens, I get through by convincing myself that if I can be patient a little longer, I'll be rewarded with the ultimate good (story of my life lately).

Saturday was the first day of NaNoWriMo and like a lot of competitors, I flew out of the gates. I didn't plan to start writing until after Ibis left for work, but when I opened the document so it would be ready, the words were there, ready to be written. An hour later I had already reached my daily goal of 1667 words.

Knowing it was only 9:30am on the first day, I dared myself to keep writing. I left the document open (I did backup every hour or so) and added bits throughout the afternoon. Then around four or five I sat down and knocked out another 1000 words. By the end of the day I'd written 3658 words.

All good.

Do you know where this is going? Here, I'll make a list.

Saturday evening:

- I almost hit a dog, then five second later (not exaggerating) three children under the age of five darted into traffic RIGHT in front of me. It was dark and there were no street lights and needless to say I puttered the rest of the way.

- Three minutes later the car stalled while I was on a hill and I started rolling backwards. And this was on a very narrow road filled with cars and people.


- Did a new workout video, then tried to shave my legs. Didn't go so well. (Trying to balance on one quivering leg with a razor in hand is not smart.)

- Then I gouged my ankle with the jagged edge of a pumice stone, causing much blood and anguish.

– After work we went downtown to the plaza to check out the Day of the Dead festivities, but there were no displays. They did have dancers and singers but we ended up waiting for an HOUR for a fried quesadilla so only got to hear it.

All minor things, but I'm forgetting a few. Basically, all my energy/coordination/whatever has been diverted to my brain and the rest of my body is paying for it. Sunday I wrote another 2500 words - still over my daily goal - and while I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep up this pace, I do promise to try.

One funny thing. I've realized that I often forget to describe people and setting. I can picture it perfectly in my head, but for some reason it doesn't occur to me that maybe my readers want to know that part of the story as well. I started concentrating a bit more on including that and something amusing occurred to me:

- I've been envisioning one of my characters (a detective) as Barack Obama.

Current word count: 6145.


Janna Qualman said...


Great job, Melanie. I'm super-excited for you! Keep it up, but watch for small children.

Melanie Avila said...

LOL, every time I see backup I hear Quick saying it like the Aflac duck.

The entire weekend was a big celebration so hopefully the kids will be back to normal now.

spyscribbler said...

You're doing awesome! And hey, it could've been a lot worse: you could've hit someone! I actually know someone who did. She hadn't recovered two years after the fact.

Sunday was a wash, but I swear I didn't have a second. Unless you count the 3am-5am can't sleep/brainstorming session.

Rachel Burton said...

Sounds like you're off to a great start. I'd shed a little blood for 3000 easy words, but only my own.

Robin said...

Congratulations on the writing!

Maybe it's just me, but I need to ask - why were you balancing on one leg as you shaved your leg? Can't you sit on the toilet seat with the lid down? If you're in the shower, why not bend over, and balance on two legs while shaving one? What ungodly things are happening over there in Mexico?

Turkey Lurkey said...

It always works out that way! I waste away the good times worrying about something horrible that is bound to pop up.

Shaving? Pumice stone? What are these things you speak of?

Keep up the good work on you NaNo!

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, I have a friend who killed a little boy when she was around 20yo and it still haunts her.

You started off well too, so you'll be fine.

Melanie Avila said...

Rachel, I didn't say they were easy. Once I force myself to concentrate I'm fine. But that's the problem. Now I've discovered this:

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, our shower doesn't have any ledges, although I suppose I could turn off the water and sit on the toilet. I lift my leg so the water doesn't rinse out the conditioner too soon, which again, that would be solved by turning off the water. But then I can't rinse the razor. It's a big ordeal. I shave fast anyways.

Melanie Avila said...

Living in flip flops I MUST use a pumice stone. :)

Travis Erwin said...

Hope the words keep flowing and that you have no more wounds causing your blood to do the same.

Robin said...

Thank you for that excellent explanation. As your loyal reader, that really brought shaving your legs alive for me. See? No need to worry. (Although I still don't know the color of the razor, the type of conditioner. I can chip in some imagination here.)

Today's word verification: plowi (I think your site has the best ones.)

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, lol. I commented on someone's blog today and the word verification was "myclair". Seemed like maybe I should name a character that. She's currently Carol but that seems too Brady to me, especially since she's married to Greg. Step-oedipal, I know.

I used to use purple Venus, but now it's lady gillette or something (it's pink & purple). Garnier Nutrisse hair products. :)

Jen said...

Shaving is a dangerous business, for sure. :D

Good job on the writing, and don't stress the pace. Some days will be more productive than others, and that will give you a cushion on days where it's a struggle to just get out of bed.

Or weild a pumice stone. :D

*giggles and runs away*

My word verification is misma, btw. Very close to the word that's describing my current state.

Back to work!

Melanie Avila said...

I just checked my numbers and I seem to be aiming for Wednesday's tally (8335). As of 2:18pm I'm at 7432. :)

Those stones are dangerous. I bought a square one which cracked, thus the sharp edge. I might have to switch to a rounded one.

Penguin said...

I knew I gave up shaving my legs for a reason. It is dangerous.
Oh, wait I don't shave my legs, that is right, I stopped shaving my face because of that.

Oh, and my word was blestol.

Melanie Avila said...

Penguin, how long IS your beard ?

Mary B said...

More words. Less blood.


verification word: pectradj

pectoral tragedy? aka: man titty cover on a romance novel?

Pink Ink said...

Awesome, Melanie!! Keep up the muy excellente work :-)

Melanie Avila said...

Mary, that WOULD be a tragedy!

Thanks Pink!

Billy said...

Saw you at Spyscribbler's. As a ghostwriter for many years), I learned how to get past writer's block and to produce quite a bit everyday ... and I love the idea of NaNo--ray Bradbury wrote the rough draft of Fahrenheit 451 in seven days--but I don't think I could do this without sending my wife on vacation and living on junk food for a month. It's hard, but so tempting. Happy election day! yes to "change!" Good luck with NaNo!

Melanie Avila said...

Welcome Billy! I've seen several agent blogs that bash NaNo, but I think if you use it as a learning tool it's fine. None of the writers I know expect to market their wip come December 1st, and look at it as motivation to get the words out. Even though it's in the rules, I rarely let myself slide with a lesser word - I force myself to express myself the way I mean to!