Monthly Archives: November 2010

NaNoWriMo Day 30


After pushing through today and writing 5,005 words. I was only able to write about 900 last night because I kept falling asleep, so today, I asked Maurice to meet me at the coffeeshop after work and poke me if I fell asleep so that I could finish. What a good friend he is, because he agreed. And near the end, I actually was falling asleep in the coffeeshop, so it’s a good thing he was there. Thanks, Maurice!

Congrats to Peauxdunque Terri who was also doing NaNoWriMo and who also finished!

And thanks to Jamey who came up with #teamemilie on Twitter to really make me feel encouraged and supported. 🙂 And for just generally being a great friend and always in my corner.

Thanks to all the new NaNoWriMo friends I made this month, many of whom finished earlier than me, then looked back and cheered me on as I crossed the finish line.

It’s been a crazy month. More later. This, for now.


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NaNoWriMo Day 28 – the 10K day

As often happens, my phenomenal Day 26 was followed by a (relatively speaking) fallow day. As it was my parents’ last full day in the city, I spent a lot of it with them. I went to their hotel in the morning so we could all listen to my brother on the radio – Hard Luck Norm on Mamma Mia! and I played cards and talked with Papa Bear with the hard rock in the background until we’d all hush up when Norm‘s voice came on. It was really fun. We’re all proud of him.

Mamma Mia! and I had a quick lunch (this was after I ran into both my 225 editor and a former boss within a few feet of my house), then went off to see Burlesque. It’s about what you’d expect, maybe a little more: high-energy, sexy, great singing and dancing, very attractive people all around. Not the best writing or acting in the world, but by far not the worst. By far. And I was surprised by how many funny lines were in the movie, thanks mostly to Stanley Tucci (and some by Kristen Bell). Cher was poignant and Christina Aguilera, while the acting weak link in the movie, was powerful whenever she was on stage.

We rounded out the evening with Papa Bear at Juan’s and had a good time together. There was a quick cameo appearance by Jamey, which delighted my parents and then they left me to write. As it was the end of the day, I “only* got about 1,800 words done. Nothing to sneeze at, to be sure, but not quite the word count I need at this point, especially as the last two days of the month are work days.

Woke early today to see off my parents. And then I went straight to Cheers and I wrote. As my parents were driving home to Georgia (7+ hours), I spent that time writing. Maurice and Jamey came by and cheered me up and on. It was physically exhausting, but relatively easy going thanks to some steady word wars with folks on Twitter. By around five p.m., I had just under 7,870 words and my parents were getting closer to home.

I took a break for Thanksgiving leftovers and my Netflix movie – Get Him to the Greek. Was absolutely prepared to hate this movie because both Russell Brand and Jonah Hill mostly annoy me. But, I laughed out loud during most of the movie. I loved the Kristen Bell cameo where she played Sarah Marshall. Too funny.

Anyway, I actually got back to work after dinner and the movie. I knocked out a couple more thousand words and made today an official 10K day. My final count for today is 10,604 and my total so far is 42,111. This is actually doable at this point. Really. I just have to remember that tomorrow when I’m exhausted after work.

Can’t stop now!

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NaNoWriMo Day 26 (Fess Up Friday)

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been updating. I’ve noticed. Mostly, it was because I wasn’t writing. I was so tired most days after work, it was all I could do to keep regularly scheduled programming going, let alone write 2,000 words. It didn’t help that I lost any connection I might’ve had to my characters and story. I didn’t look forward to visiting them. They were boring and whiny and disappointing. That’s probably what happens when I write from an “idea,” rather than from character and genuine story. A lesson for the future.

But then, quietly, I started hand writing something entirely different than Story 1 or Story 2. It was a fictionalized version of something that happened to me. Something intensely personal that I feel desperate to write about, but haven’t because I know I’ll likely never do anything — i.e. publish — with the work. But you know, why not just write it now, for me? Why not write something that I need to write without caring that it’s “unproductive”?

And the reason I started writing again this NaNoWriMo season, the reason I started writing this intensely personal unpublishable story is because a friend started asking me questions while a bunch of us were out drinking during Words and Music last weekend. And I realized, as I answered his questions, that I had a lot to say. And it needed to be said whether it was published, whether anyone read it, whether anyone listened.

So maybe that’s what NaNoWriMo is really about, at least for me. Sometimes you just have to write. Stop thinking about the end game and the process and the ramifications of success and failure and just write.

I’d kind of given up on “winning” NaNoWriMo. I was too far behind and only writing in 700-800 increments before falling asleep. Which is something, but isn’t winning material. I didn’t think about it because it made me sad. And tired. Plenty tired. But, once more, a friend said something that got my wheels turning. Another friend, J. wrote on my Facebook page:

“Memories. Going to do some NaNo writing at Perks tomorrow. Thought about last Black Friday when I met you there and you helped spur a 5,000 word day that put me over 50K.  Thanks again and I hope you’re having a great holiday.”

And talk about sad!! Not only did I remember *exactly* the day he was talking about, I wrote about it here on the blog. J. helped me get over the hurdle last year and he was the first person I word warred with. And, I realized right then and there (last night) that I was winning NaNoWriMo 2010, come hell or high water. If only so that I would no longer invest in the idea of an “even year curse,” for future NaNoWriMo years. If only to prove to myself that I could write 50,000 without a great story or awesome characters. If only to prove to myself what I can do.

That being said, my word count went from 24,916 words going into this new motivation to 31,532 words today. I wrote 6,351 words today. And I spent time with my parents. And cleaned the kitchen.

My parents and I watched Knucklehead, the first of  the six WWE movies filmed in New Orleans in the last year (three of which I worked on). At first, my parents were like a lot of people and assumed they wouldn’t enjoy the WWE movies. Mamma Mia! said, “I’m not much into wrestling movies.” I assured them the movies aren’t what anybody expects them to be. They often include wrestling and wrestlers, but they’re funny and entertaining and well-acted. My parents were laughing all through Knucklehead and really invested. It was great to share with them. As it was great to share Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 with them this evening. I’m such a sap. I almost started crying not even five minutes into the movie. But the books and the movies have been a huge part of my life, so I guess that’s to be expected.

Thanks to the friend who asked me questions last weekend, J. for his friendly Facebook post and everyone who word warred and sprinted with me today. Thanks to my parents for giving me the time to write when I asked. Let’s see if we can do it all over again tomorrow. And the next day. And then for two more.


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NaNoWriMo Day 21

This week, I was stuck. Majorly stuck. And I haven’t unstuck myself just yet, but I thought you’d like to see this photograph of the Peauxdunque Writer’s Alliance during Words and Music this weekend. We’re missing a few members, including two new ones. It’s an odd photograph cause none of us were really ready yet and we’re grouped really oddly, but I like it anyway. Actually, I like it because of the strange grouping and because of the graffiti behind us and the New Orleans street stretching out just beyond us. And there’s a second I stole from Tad, taken by our waitress at Sylvain. I think Peauxdunque will one day be legendary for taking the most creatively odd group photographs. That and fostering numerous talented writers.

Sabrina, Terri, Me, Tad, Maurice and J.Ed

Tad, J.Ed, Terri, Me, Sabrina, Jamey, Maurice and Janice

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NaNoWriMo Day 17

Completely heartsick that I missed my fellow Peauxdunquers read at Words and Music.

But what’s more, I completely hate my characters and story. I think that’s why it’s been so hard to write. I’d much rather watch clips of I Love Lucy on YouTube.


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NaNoWriMo Day 15 & 16

No new words. Too much going on. Lots of work, a freelance deadline and getting ready for Words and Music and Thanksgiving. Plus, I’m trying to convince myself that my even numbered years doing NaNoWriMo are not cursed, as 2008 is the only year I didn’t win NaNoWriMo since I started (2007). It’s silly to believe in a little thing like a curse, even if I am inhumanely busy this year. I promise I will write tomorrow. I’m now behind, stuck at 23,497, when I should have 26,672.

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NaNoWriMo Day 14 (+ brag)

I’ll update later. But for now, allow me to brag.

My brother is a radio personality–Hard Luck Norm–on the Portland hard rock station KUFO this morning!! Mamma Mia! woke me up and it took me a few minutes to swim out of subconsciousness to understand her. But, I’m listening to him live online and it’s the coolest thing ever. My uber-Catholic Papa Bear stayed home from church to listen with Mamma Mia! and I’m listening here, and we’re all texting Norm about how proud we are of him. It’s really cool. I think he was pretty much made for this.

Later today, I’m going to see Jamey read along with Jewel Bush, Kelly Harris and Kysha Brown Robinson at Young, Gifted and Black: Emerging Women Writers in New Orleans.

Lots to brag on here. It’s a brag-packed day.

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NaNoWriMo Day 13

Well. Last night was my early halfway mark present – the Dresden Dolls concert at Tipitina’s. And it was a worthy halfway mark present because it was the best concert I’ve ever been to. Absolutely amazing. There’s too much to talk about to mention here, but basically it was good from beginning to end. For instance, Meschiya Lake and a multi-piece band, probably the Loose Marbles, played outside while everyone waited to get into the show. That was just the music while you waited in line! And Neil Gaiman was hanging out and watching them as well. At one point, Amanda Palmer squeezed in front of me to go in through the side door. I had great friends for company. Then, there were two amaaaaaazing opening acts, one of which is local. Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship and Jason Webley. And then the Dresden Dolls, who were just brilliant. Their encore songs were covers of “Mein Herr,” (Amanda across us on the balcony, leaning out to Brian Viglione playing guitar on the stage below, even straddling the railing and leaning back) and “War Pigs,” if that tells you anything about the crazy, genius, energetic performance. Anyway, at the end of the show, some of us waited around to see if they’d come out. Brian did, sidling up beside me and Maurice while we were singing and dancing to “My Girl.” I looked over at the dude dancing next to me and it was Brian of the Dresden Dolls! Not only was he utterly gracious when he signed my c.d., he took it backstage for Amanda to sign as well since she’d hurt her foot. And I got several hugs as well. I’ll treasure last night for a long time.

Well, today, I had to wake up after not enough sleep to get my car worked on and finish up a project for work. And of course, I was all wrung out when it came time to do my NaNoWriMo words. I’ve been falling asleep in the middle of wars, just utterly unable to keep my eyes open and my fingers typing. I think I’ve forgotten how hard it can be to write when your whole body just wants to lay down, when your brain is like, “uh uh, I just wanna watch Law & Order and play Freecell, lady.” But, I solicited a word war on Twitter and managed 2,094 words in two half-hour wars. Which brings my grand total so far to 22,102. So, I’m just a little bit ahead once again and I hope I can get even further ahead tomorrow, store up some words for this coming week and whatever it may bring.


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NaNoWriMo Day 12

I seriously just wrote one sentence of 21 words so that my total word count would be 20,008. Why did I do this? Because it’s been a long day (filled with learning that my weekend will be jam packed with assignments) and I’m going to the Dresden Dolls concert. I bought those tickets months ago and decided it could be a big reward.

I’ve used up all my buffer, but I am officially 4 words over the word count you SHOULD be at by Day 12. Since I’m not behind and am, in fact, 4 words ahead, I have earned my big almost-midway-through-reward. 🙂

Anybody else got a big reward coming up?

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NaNoWriMo Day 11

Week 2 has been rough, mostly because of the new film job and our crazy hours. Lucky for me I had a bit of a lead coming into this week. I’m still ahead even though my words have been dismal. But I’ll have to get ahead again this weekend.

How many people do you know fall asleep during word wars? I did last night and I fought as long as I could tonight, almost falling asleep again. But, I managed 450 words tonight, warring with Maurice (who’s not even doing NaNoWriMo, just trying to help me out).  which brings my total to 19,987. Wow, just under 20K! I really should write 13 more words just reach…zzzzzzzz……….

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