Friday Five and NaNoWriMo 11:24 a.m. 2003-10-17

Current Listening: Aiding and Abetting by Muriel Spark
Current Reading: Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews
Recipe of the Day: Curried Vegetable Stew, Burritos de lengua en salsa verde, Crockpot Rum Croissant Bread Pudding
Current Mood: The current mood of at
Daily Quote:
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. -W. Somerset Maugham

You can't sit around and wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. -Jack London

It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer. -Gerald Brenan

We all have some talent. We could all use some more. But we should all keep writing. -Julie Beard

If the writer has a masterpiece within, he had better save it on paper. Otherwise, none of us will ever miss it. -Steve Martin

1. Name five things in your refrigerator.

milk, orange juice, beef tongue, chutney, red bell peppers

2. Name five things in your freezer.

big bag of frozen vegetables, lamb shoulder, pecans, limoncello, quiche

3. Name five things under your kitchen sink.

stainless steel bowl, dishwasher liquid, cake pans, muffin tins, toaster oven shelf

4. Name five things around your computer.

china horse bank, faux carved cinnabar box shaped like a pumpkin, Diet Coke, non-functioning scanner/printer/fax machine, dead Sea Monkeys in castle aquarium

5. Name five things in your medicine cabinet.

Don't have one. Really, this house came with no medicine cabinets! But I do have under my sink: Hair color, spare roll of toilet paper, 3 tubes of Dr. Tichenor's toothpaste (it's a Louisiana thing!), brown rice filled warming/cooling pillow, various knick-knacks awaiting shelving and display.

Well, that was fun! I am home again, but my cold may be getting better. I am still not planning to go to the doctor. If I am not really better by Monday, then I will go to see my doctor after school. I hope my students are enjoying Scooby Doo in Mexico. Hey! It's educational! I am making them write a synopsis afterwards - and it's in English!

I managed to get my grades done and turned in, after a fashion. I also have not received any nasty e-mails from the asst. principal in charge of grades (yet), so I think I got them in online. Today, I plan on figuring out how to make lesson plans, and making them! I am 3 weeks behind, according to the new plan. I also plan on working on my colleague's curriculum - only because I seem to have a system down - I may make her come up with her own "essential questions" (don't ask...).

I also need to work on the flyer for our Latino Parent Outreach, planned sometime in November. That's easy enough - I will do it in Microsoft Publisher, and e-mail it to whomever for approval. I also may do some work on my second Cultural Diversity Newsletter. I just had the brilliant idea of putting a flyer in it about the Reading Group I planned on starting.

I have to admit that I don't feel optimistic about the Reading Group. I may just be going through the planning motions, only to have no one interested. We'll see - build it, and they may come!

Of course, as I have all of these things to do, I have just stumbled upon a possible distraction. I was browsing some other journals, and came upon an icon that read "NANOWRIMO". What? So, naturally, I clicked on it. It led to the website of National Novel Writing Month. Here's what they do:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over talent and craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Sounds interesting - especially given a past entry I wrote about writing a novel. I can't find it right now, but I toyed with writing about my years in France. Maybe this is the time! Here's more - meant to be reassurring:

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and -- when the thing is done -- the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2002, we had about 14,000 participants. Over 2100 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

So, we'll have to see, won't we? One thing I will have to ask about is the word count. How do you count words? Actually, my husband has been a free-lance journalist, so I think he might be able to help. Also, I think I recall a word count feature on Diary-X.

Let me think about it! And, all of you that read this, think about it, too. From the website, again:

So, to recap:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.

Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from your novel at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: Sign ups begin around October 1, 2003. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, the 50,000-word mark must be reached by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

Silly Quizilla!You're a plotter!
You're a plotter, someone who carefully crafts an
intriguing plot to keep the reader hooked from
one scene to the next. You thrive on knowing
exactly where your story is going, and what's
going to happen along the way. Although you
might veer off your original plan for the
story, mostly you stick to your carefully
planned outline. You're a born storyteller who
enjoys sharing your stories with others.

What Kind of a Writer Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

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