Nanowrimo ’13

Hey gaiz.

A smarter person than I might decide to bow out of NaNo for the next 3 years, in the interests of kicking ass at law school.

(Let’s be honest – a smarter person than I might have made the much better decision to not go to law school in the first place)

But, you gaiz all know me. You know that I can’t give this up. We’re on year 9 now.

I have tentatively set a goal, but until I can find a time to actually sit down and plot something (anything), I don’t want to commit-commit or share details.

If you’re looking for me on the NaNo boards, you know where to find me.

Let Nano Season begin!



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Next Stage of My Life

Hey gaiz.

In 2009, I graduated from college. In 2010, I started the lease pleasant job I’ll ever have. In 2012, I transitioned to a job I never wanted to leave. And now, in 2013…

I’m about to start a new chapter of my life. I begin law school tomorrow. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be moving. Lots of big changes in my life, quite a lot of stress.

It is, as of now, my full intention to do NaNo this year. Whether overachieving fits into a law student’s life remains to be seen.

I’ll still be around, don’t worry. Lurk around as you wish.


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A Hard Realization

It’s been way too long since I worked on any serious projects for a sustained length of time. I NaNo every year, but rarely go back to rework (or even reread, frankly), those pieces. Not because they’re garbage, but simply because I have other things going on in my life. That’s not a good excuse, it’s reality.

But a couple years ago, I went through a few drafts of a novel and even got to the point of querying it to agents. At the time, it felt like a solid story to me, even if I was querying into a glutted market as to my subgenre.

I re-read about 70% of it yesterday. The writing is fine – I have been technically competent for a long time, given a few drafts. The story is there; the premise and the plot all work. But the execution? It doesn’t. I can’t even properly put my finger on what about it that doesn’t. All I do know is that’s likely the reason I got the form rejects back in 2010.

As readers of this blog might remember, I start law school in a couple of months. Based on the stories told to me by others at my workplace (that I do believe), the amount of leisure time I’m going to have will be minimal.

One thing that should come as no surprise to any of my readers is the revelation that I am hyper-competitive, even if I’m only competing against myself. So, the question that I present to myself, and the challenge I offer is – can I come up with a reworked, competent draft between now and August 18? I’m not sure I can.

But I can certainly try.


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Just a Random Story of Awesome

This has nothing to do with writing, but I am so in awe of the day that I have had that I feel it’s worth sharing. YMMV.

Most of you probably don’t know that I do not drive. Never learned how. Thus, I am pretty familiar with public transportation.

I could walk from my apartment to my last job. My next (current) job is walkable on a nice day or in a pinch, but it is vastly quicker for me to take the local public transportation – a bus.

Now, because I’m pretty familiar with public transportation, I know to keep an eye on my stuff and make sure I leave the bus with all the things that I got on it with.

This past Friday, I bought groceries at the store next to a bus stop (as I do probably once a week). I had to run to catch the bus, but caught it on time and headed home. Twenty minutes later, I realized I had forgotten to buy something and needed to run to the store across the street. I reached into my bag for my wallet and…


Cue a ten-minute freakout while I try to figure out where in my (small) apartment I might have deposited my wallet. Nothing.

Then I forced myself to sit down and be reasonable. I had last seen my wallet in the grocery store. Call up the grocery store. Nothing.

That’s when I realized that I most likely left my wallet behind on the bus.

Another thing that you should know about my wallet – because I am prone to lose things in the abyss of my desk drawer but had never before lost my wallet, I keep several fairly important documents in my wallet. Things that would be expensive, in time or money or both, to replace.

So, I cancel the card in my wallet, make a police report, and miserably dig in for Memorial Day weekend (fortunately, remember, my last act had been the buying of groceries, so all was not lost). I also called the public transport authority, but was informed they were closed until Tuesday for the holiday weekend.

Fast forward to Tuesday. I call the public transit authority again. They look in their lost and found. No dice, but they tell me to call back later that afternoon.

I call back as told, but I was pretty sure it was a perfunctory measure. Only to be told that my wallet had been turned in and I could pick it up.

Because (again) I don’t drive, I had to beg a ride to their offices, which I did this afternoon.

My wallet was missing the cash, but it didn’t have more than $10-$15 in it at the time. More importantly? All of those Important Documents? They were there. Against all odds, I managed to lose vitally important documents on public transportation and, less than a week later, had them back in hand.

I don’t know where I racked up the good karma, but I’m not complaining.

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Book review – The Postmortal

[Ahem. Yep. Once a week and all.]

So, to bring back a feature of the blog long since vanished, I’d like to talk briefly today about a book that I recently finished for the second time – The Postmortal by Drew Magary.

Lots of books contemplate a society where there’s a formula or some description of the potential for human immortality. As best as I can recall, these books are usually set in the far-future, where humanity is spread across dozens of worlds and galaxies and there’s plenty of room for all to live and let live.

But what if the formula for immortality came when we were all still Earthbound?

This book (pub’ed in 2011), contemplates (in black hilarity) such a cure being found in 2019. The story follows main character John Farrell, who starts off the story illegally getting the cure from a black market doctor. After considerable bloodshed, the cure is finally legalized.

Over the next sixty years, society slowly stagnates and decays, and Farrell makes the transformation from a lawyer who specializes in “cycle marriages” to a nomad to an “end specialist”, all the while haunted by the memories of the two women that the Cure has taken away from him and searching for a meaning in a world that has absolved itself of it.

Not only is the main narrative exceedingly darkly funny and well-written, but it has something I really enjoy in novels if pulled-off well (and it is here). The main narrative is written in close first person, but it is interspersed with vignettes from newspapers, tv shows, interviews, and the like, that turn what would otherwise be a narrative of one man’s journey into a global tale of caution.

[Going on vacation this coming week, so if you don’t see another post, that’s totally why.]

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Camp Nano (and a “new” commitment)

So, we’re almost at the end of April. I announced in my last post that I was Camping this year, with a goal of 300k.

If there’s one thing that I’ve noticed, is that I really rock it out almost every November (the job from hell years, not so much, but I still did okay).  But when I attempt any of the ancillary challenges (JulNo, or in this instance, Camp), I never quite manage to do so well. I really don’t know why – my only guess is that they are smaller challenges, and I feel somehow as though I have less to live up to than during Nano. Maybe it’s the community support. (This April, I was also laid out for eight days with a winter cold – just recovering from it now).

Right now, I’m at 50k. Now that I’m marginally healthier and no longer dying from The Plague, I plan to attempt at least another 10-20k before the end of the month.  (Putting it down in writing seems like a better motivator than just telling it to my empty apartment – whether or not I make good on it or not is another story).

I’m also in the midst of making some big changes in my life, and given that this is where my passions lie, I figure there’s no time like the present to make some resolutions (that I’ll fail dismally at, of course). Nevertheless –

  1. I used to like blogging and used to keep a pretty active blog. So, resolution number 1 is to blog once a week. I’ll try to stick to writing related stuff and book reviews, with only a little grownuphood-related content. No one needs another 25-year-old pontificating on what Being A Grownup Is All About.
  2. Write more. I’ve been falling off that wagon for a while now, and given the passion I once had for it, it’s a little sad that I don’t do it as much as I used to. To that end, I’d like to start ramping it up a little. I’ll start with, post-April, writing at least 500 words a day.
  3. Read more. Also something I don’t do nearly as much of as I should. Also, book reviews make for reasonably non-pretentious blog posts. So, I’d like to read and finish a new book at least every two weeks.

Three is probably enough for now. If I can manage those for a few months, then maybe we’ll add some more as Nano13 approaches.

To all you lurkers who’ve stuck with me over the years, and to new readers who may stumble on this blog, thanks for giving me a couple minutes of your time. Hopefully, I can make it worth it.


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Hey gaiz

Wow. I really suck at this blogging thing.

Um. Hi.

So, uh, life stuff has happened. I switched jobs (away from the job from hell) to the job I love. Like a year ago.

And now I’m going to leave the job I love.

To go to law school. That’s right, gaiz. Imma be a lawyer one day.

Can I promise that I’m going to revive the blog? Pshh. You gaiz know me.

I am doing Camp Nano, though. I’m set for random cabinmates at the moment. If anyone wants to hang with me (my word goal is 300k), shoot me a buzz on the Nano forums.

That is all for my every-two-year-announcement.

(Okay, yeah, I am a little ashamed to realize it’s been quite that long).


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