I can’t quite put my finger on why I feel so out of place. It’s not the existential angst I went through during my teenage years (and, let’s be honest here, most of my twenties as well). It’s more a feeling that everything is ever so slightly wrong. (I was going to insert a bullet list of ways things are actually wrong, but that was depressing, so…wheeze.) My point is, shouldn’t I be freaking out about the things that are legitimately ungood and worrying less about the vague sense of malaise hovering over my head?

I feel unsettled, which conjures up the mental image of stalking around in a haunted manner but in reality consists of spending the day working from bed, just like every other day. Fortunately I stopped getting better from my cold, so I’m spending my energy on trying to breathe through my wheezy lungs rather than contemplating creative ways to end myself. So that’s good, right?

Always looking on the bright side, that’s me.

In other news: the NaNo novel is chugging along (don’t ask me how far behind I am on word count), and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to realize that the main character has a much more interesting back story than I’d originally planned. When you’re writing all in a rush like this, you find that things tend to sort of develop on their own, which is awesome and fun and probably a little bit irresponsible but whatever. I’m looking forward to a few solid days of writing once I get some work projects off my plate.

And as soon as my lungs stop sounding like something out of a horror film, I’m going to start doing some goddamned yoga. Because why not? I’m pretty sure I don’t need to get out of bed for that.*

*I do actually get out of bed, just fyi. I am occasionally prone to hyperbole. I KNOW.

Another November, another NaNoWriMo

It’s National Novel Writing Month again! I’m crazy excited. I celebrated by totally missing my word count yesterday. Double words today! I will write everything twice! It will be glorious!

(If you’re wondering about all the exclamation points, I had pumpkin pie for breakfast. Take THAT, healthy diet!)

This year’s foray into creative non-nonfiction is a psychological thriller about a girl with false memories who may or may not have committed a murder. That she confessed to. It’s all very confusing. Luckily I know who actually did it! Probably. Anyway who needs outlines, amirite?

I’ve fired up Scrivener on my Mac and I’m creating a kick-ass writing mix on Spotify. Totally ready to go! When I get distracted (I was going to say ‘if’ but we’re all friends here and there is no reason to lie) I’ll post a clever little word-meter in my sidebar because I know you all are just aching to see my incremental progress in bar-graph form.

This is going to be awesome. You guys, I should have pie for breakfast ALL THE TIME.

Damian Kulash. Grammar. Swoon.

If the sentence preceding the example were ‘Our tuition was wasted on our fucking Luddite teachers,’ the meaning is nice and clear, regardless of whether you then follow with ‘use’ or ‘utilize’. Similarly, if the sentence after the example were ‘The Amish kids just looked at their mentors with terror in their eyes,’ the inherent vagary of the example vanishes, whether you use ‘utilize,’ or you utilize ‘use.’

Reason #9,203,541 I love the internet: a vintage 2005 article about Damian Kulash and grammar in an LA Weekly blog, complete with Damian’s etymology geekery in the comments.

style council: Stop Making Sense

NaNoWriMo: Week 2

So here’s the stats, for those of you playing along at home:

Word count as of yesterday: 19,087

I’m still ahead of schedule, but the last couple of days have been slooooow going. It’s not that I’m getting bored or anything, but I think I need to do a little bit more work on my time management skills. Today, for example, I’ve had my writing window open since I booted up my computer* but I keep clicking over to the “work” window. Which – I’m at work. I’m working. I get that. But when I can’t focus on writing or working, nobody wins.

But the bottom line is, the book is coming along FABULOUSLY and I feel crazy good about it.

*Yes, I actually had to boot up this morning. My laptop is all good things, but the ONE problem I have with it is its tendency to freeze the hell up and not respond to keystrokes.

Writing for writers

So I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Oh, did I forget to mention that?

Here’s a fun fact about me: I go a little crazy when I don’t write. And I haven’t been writing for a while, so you go ahead and do the math on that one. The last three days I’ve been writing around 2000 words a day and I’ve been in a great mood. Surely the two cannot be related!

This all started when I had an epiphany about work vs. writing, and the epiphany went thusly: I own my own business. I set my own hours. What’s stopping me from scheduling time to write? Because before, when I’d try to work on a book or start a new story or what have you, I’d make it like my reward. Finished all my work for the day? Great, I get to write!

But any small business owner will tell you, the work is NEVER done. Never. This isn’t like having a day job, where you put in your eight hours and then go home and decompress. This is more like having a baby (except one that doesn’t give you colds or pull your hair or spit up on you, if you’re lucky), in that it’s ALWAYS on your mind and there’s ALWAYS something more you could be doing.

But, like having a baby, the parts that rock REALLY rock. I can work from anywhere. I don’t have to go into the office unless I feel like it. I don’t have to log hours or call in sick or worry about overtime. I can work in my pajamas if I want to. I can take off in the middle of the day to pick up my kid at preschool. I can work early, work late, take a Friday off and work on Saturday instead.

And I can set aside two hours every morning to write.

Yeah. My life pretty much kicks ass. (Running tally: 7729 words and counting.)

nano nano

NaNoWriMo: Day 1 was a rousing success. I got almost 1700 words and can’t wait to do it again tomorrow. This is because I am a crazy person, but crazy people are fun, right?

Not So is watching Ghostbusters. This is what we do. We watch things.

In other news, I was really sick a couple of weeks ago with what may or may not have been swine flu (take that, specificity!) and realized one night I forgot to take my prozac. Since then I’ve continued to not take my prozac and I’ve felt kind of fabulous, so I’m counting that as a win. The prozac was great, actually, but it made me so freaking tired I could barely keep my eyes open, except at night, when I would just lay in bed with a million ideas running through my head. I enjoy my sleep, but I also enjoy not sleeping at appropriate times, kwim?

Speaking of sleep, I’m tired, and I have a TON to do tomorrow.

wash your hands afterward

So. Don’t tell anybody but I seem to be re-working my manuscript. The first one. From 1998. There’s no good reason for this, except for the fact that there is clearly something wrong with me (and also I’m waiting to hear back from any of my several beta readers before I can do another draft of the latest novel). I mean, it’s not like I don’t have enough other stuff to keep me occupied, what with the business and the kid and the house and the cats and the husband. But, see, writers? Writers are crazy.

In other news, I think the new draft of the old novel is going to rock.