And so, you know that working-from-home gig? Not so much. Now I’m just home.
I’ve been recharging by sniffing books and drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Last weekend, I made Neil go out and get me one. This involved leaving our bed and then the entire house. I almost felt bad. Maybe.
I’ve wanted to write here, really I have. But I couldn’t get past:
Some of you may remember Coffeegate 2011. Well, it’s become an annual event. Earlier this week, I picked up my coffee with my left hand. And promptly dropped it. On my computer. Again. Maybe it was the weight of my engagement ring. Or maybe it’s because I am seriously not left-handed. At all. Ever.
Anyway, the screen went black and coffee seeped between the keys before I could switch it off and flip it upside down. I know what to do. I’m a pro. Obviously not.
I even tried to pull the battery out. But it was stuck. Probably held there by the left-over sugar from last time. It was then I realised we’d run out of paper-towels, and so I had to use a touristy dish-towel. It was decidedly non-absorbent and had a touristy poem on it. Fail.
I then texted Sarge. Not because I needed help. But because he needed to know that his future wife is a moron. He didn’t get the message. I heard his phone go off in the bedroom. He was at work. Maybe he’s a moron sometimes, too. We’re good for each other.
I updated Facebook on my phone, babbling about how much I need my own working laptop at the moment. Because I do. NaNoWriMo is coming up, the OU is online. And then there’s the job-hunt. Did I mention I was working on an application when The Dump happened? I was.
Hemingway is drying out. Again. He’s still isn’t speaking to me. I don’t blame him. I haven’t been very good to him. And now I’m going to replace him.
I’ve told Sarge I’m too embarrassed to take Hem anywhere to get fixed. Again. Especially not Sarge’s parents’ house. No one else needs to know I’m a moron. But now all of you do. So, hi.
I’m writing this on Sarge’s laptop. Which does not have a name. I’m trying not to spend too much time on here. I feel like a guest.
I’ve managed to read ahead in my counselling course-book and I’ve finished a few library books. I submitted the application I was working on when The Dump happened. Offline life is good. More on that later.
Sarge is going to rescue everything on my hard-drive. Tomorrow I’m going to smile sweetly and hope the gadget gods honour my insurance. And I’d like one of these for Christmas.
What should I name the next computer? I have an idea, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.
I hope to have the new one up and running soon. Until then, stay tuned and talk amongst yourselves. The bar is still open.
What follows could either be a. a snippet from my NaNo novel or, 2. a recent conversation between Sarge and me:
I need to write.
How do I get out of the way?
Write in the bathroom, on the toilet, in the tub. Write in bare feet, using a pencil with no eraser. Stick your head out the window, shut your eyes and breathe. And don’t take breaks to talk to your mother about goat wool.
And so, I’m ‘doing’ NaNoWriMo this year. We have always had a strange relationship. Past attempts have seen me bang out 20,000 words and then well, edit them. Note to self and others: Don’t. Do. That. I have a penchant for abandoning projects in favour of others which I think ‘sound better’, and I don’t finish anything. Except really short stories or ‘novel excerpts’. Novel excerpts are short stories that wouldn’t shut up.
See, I don’t like writing that sounds like writing. The minute I’m aware of words on the page, I stop and write another scene playing out in my head. I have a lot of computer files and notebooks and thoughts. Most are non-sequential. Really. Try having a conversation with me.
This year, I promised myself, and Sarge, and my Dad that I would see one single novel to the end of its first draft. Because everyone is fed up with the frustrated writer. I’d just love to be a writer.
First, I said I’d hit 2k a day. Not so much. Then, because my brain goes faster than my typing speed, I thought I’d dictate the thing. Not so much. Last week, I just parked it and started typing. And the phone rang.
It was my Dad. And this was the conversation:
Dad: You may be interested to know I am writing a novel. (That’s how my Dad speaks. I kinda love it.)
Me: Really? Cool!
(He tells me about his novel…)
Me: Really? Cool! (Inside: Aw, shit. Really? For real, really? I know we’re psychically linked, but this is like, ridiculous…this whole line of thought took 5 seconds. I told you my brain works fast.) Well, Daddy, you’re not gonna believe this, but…(I share my plot.)
Dad: Oh. Well. Every book is different. Good luck! (I’m paraphrasing. Or something.)
I couldn’t write any more that afternoon. Because my mother called.
And when Sarge arrived home I was writing in actual notebook.
I told him about the conversations with my parents. And then the plot of my book.
‘Oh. That’s basically your Dad’s book. But not.’
‘This is what I’m saying,’ I said
‘Well. Every book is different.’
‘That’s what he said.’
‘Would you be upset if your Dad finished his book before you finished yours?’
‘No, I’d be happy. Having said that, shut your pretty mouth.’
What I have now is a book that sits at 5,861 words. I also have a supportive boyfriend who keeps plying me with gingerbread lattes, new notebooks and other things. And a father who is writing a book, which may or may not compliment my own. The only way to find out is to finish it.
A note to my Dad, and anyone else who may be writing a book: Please don’t stop. And I won’t, either. Back to it.
Dead Until Dark was the 45th book I’ve read this year. Not my usual thing, but my brain was buzzing and needed down-time. I had fun reading some choice lines aloud to Sarge, and finished it in a few hours.
Here’s a list of all the books I’ve read so far this year. If I finish all the books I’ve got going, I’ll break 50 soon. However. I probably won’t make it to 100 books read this year. I could read a book a day from now until the end of the year, but I won’t. I’m not giving up, just ‘managing exceptions’. Maybe my own.
I have a book to write, and a job to go to and adventures to have. I’ll bring a book everywhere. Maybe I’ll get to add 55 more titles to my 2011 list. Maybe not. But I’ve still read more than last year, and I’ve had fun. There’s always next year. And tomorrow.
And so, my current NaNo effort has turned bleak and predictable. Even if I do say so myself.
There is a Plan B, and I like it. Remember when I said I had trouble finishing things? (NaNo is a perfect example. However, moving on.)
I am going to write one short story a day until the end of November. And they will all have endings, I tell you.
If the word-count of my collective stories reaches 50K, I will consider it a NaNo victory. If it doesn’t, it will be a personal victory.
I’ll be writing from prompts I find here, there, everywhere and on my bookshelf.
While I won’t post the full story, I may post excerpts and I will post the prompts I’m using. You may want to play along. I hope you do.
So, who’s with me?
Oh, and story light-bulb 1 is: Dinner party
Use that however you wish.
The small print: I first thought of 29 Stories when there were still 29 days in the month. I’m going to keep that number because it matches my age. I may double up to write 29 stories. I may not. Either way, they will be stories written by me, at the age of 29. You do not have to be 29 to play along. I’m now going to stop typing ‘29’. No purchase necessary.