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2006-11-30 7:05 p.m.

from the jaws of defeat

"From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached." –Franz Kafka

I really like Jasmine tea. WTF, however, thinks it tastes like toilet water.

In any case, I am a winner. I successfully completed Nanowrimo this year. It was for the most part much more difficult than the last time, three years (three years!?) ago. It certainly had a lot more highs and lows, emotionally. Last time I didn't have a job, or any particularly time-consuming hobbies, a girlfriend within fifty miles, or any responsibilities or appointments of any kind, really. I also had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted to do with the thing, and I had a brand-spanking new, top-o'the line laptop. I was pretty sure when I started it that I would be able to finish it. None of these things were the case this year. In fact, last weekend, when my no-longer-quite-brand-spanking-new-top-o-the-line laptop had another major meltdown with 15,000 words to go, and Tprophet said the sucker was toast, well, I pretty much gave it up right there. I didn't write anything last weekend (though I was also visiting Tokyo at the time, which didn't make things any easier). But then, somehow, my computer stumbled back into Undead Zombie Mode (you didn't know PCs had a mode like that, did you? It's like Safe Mode, only cooler, and with brains-eating), and together we grunted and shuffled through to the end.

I wrote a series of short stories this time. (The following is more for my benefit than for yours. I'm kind of a numbers guy.) Their lengths were 17,000 words (SF), 7500 words (SF), 21,000 words (fantasy humor), 500 words (side project), 500 words (side project), and 3000 words (fantasy). Today I found myself with my last story finished and 500 words short of 50,000, so I wrote the first 500 words of another fantasy-type story which I probably won't go back to until all the others have been spit-polished to a mirror finish. The first of these was the only one I had any clear idea of where I wanted it to go when I started it. Including other buns in the oven, this leaves me with initial drafts of six different short stories (side projects aside, ha), up from two a month ago.

Actually, I was all in all quite pleased with the results. It definitely reminded me of what is, for me, the value of something like NaNoWriMo. I'm not the kind of person who can think up a story in my head. I could when I was a child, but somewhere along the way that part of me got submerged. But somehow, if I just sit down and start to write, somehow that old childhood ability gets tapped into somehow. I take a step into the darkness, and I can see far enough to take another step. I keep going, and somehow I always seem to end up somewhere interesting. If I wait for inspiration to strike, it won't. If I force myself to start writing anyway, inspiration always seem to shows up out of sheer curiosity.

Anyway, let's see if I can get this to work. Undead Zombies apparently have an unnatural aversion to FTP sites, so let's get creative.


Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

Ehh. Well, I can't see it. Can you see it? Oh well. Imagine it in your mind's eye!

distributing phials of my blood,


P.S. I have a feeling this might be taken down sooner or later, as Jack Chick sued (or threatened to sue) the guy who originally, did this, but have you seen the Cthulhu Jack Chick Tract?