Wednesday, November 30, 2005

oh, by the way.............

.....I'm done!!!

Final Word Count: 52,356! Woo hoo!

My brain is fried, my fingers hurt, and I think I should go get something to eat. Considering that during my last few NaNoing days, I've been fighting a sinus infection, I think I acquitted myself fairly well here! Yeehah, does this feel great!

Thanks to everybody who supported me this month, especially Ed, who gave me as much time as I needed, fielded phone calls and other similar interruptions, and put up with all my whining when the anti-muse struck. He's a keeper. ;o)

If you'd like to check out my NaNo profile and see my picture, my book interests, and my nifty you've-reached-50k-and-beyond blue bar, click here.

NaNoWriMo rocks!

Over and out.

can we stand the tension? can we?

I know, I'm a dork.




if i quit now, it would be stupid

6 words left.

closer still!

I have 35 words left!!!

even closer!

323 left!!!

almost done!

I've reached 51766.

410 words to go!!!

progress report


2757 left to go!


Okay, people, this is it. I have reached a word count of:


which means that today, I have to write

3987 words.

Can I do it???

We shall see. I'm off to write! I'll do periodic updates as the day stretches on. I have just over twelve hours to if I can't do this, I'm calling myself a loser. There. I said it. ;o)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

world's ugliest dog dies at 14

Check out this article. Hard to believe this horrendous creature isn't a Hollywood creation! :oP

Thursday, November 24, 2005

this week's NaNo pep talk

Dear Writer,

Many weeks ago, when November was just dawning, I consulted a fortune teller about you.

She was a young fortune teller, wearing the maroon striped shirt and name badge common to her trade. She was seated comfortably in her fortune teller's booth, with a line of customers queued up before her.

This is how I knew I had chosen a good fortune teller.

When it was my turn for a consultation, I approached and said the following:

"There is a NaNoWriMo participant I am curious about. I am sensing moments of excitement in Week One, and bouts of boredom in Week Two. I'm also sensing a streak of stubborn perseverance and a rising sense of satisfaction in Week Three. But then, in Week Four, the whole thing goes blank. Tell me, oh wise fortune teller: What will happen to this participant in Week Four?"

She smiled a very portentous smile. And then she asked me for $10.

Reluctant of being swindled, I asked if I might be able to pay at the end of our session. She was very insistent about the money. My suspicions raised, I reluctantly left without ever discovering your fate.

I've since learned that she was not so much a fortune teller as she was a ticket seller at the local movie megaplex. It was an honest mistake, and, frankly, the young woman's job description is beside the point. Because after that, I sat down and did the tough cogitating necessary to discern your NaNoWriMo destiny.

It turns out the ticket lady was right to be grinning.

You're going to win.

Yep. Before November ends, you will find yourself on the edge of 49,000 words. Getting there might require a lot of work between now and next Wednesday. But get there, you will.

When you round that corner, and 50K comes into view, know that all of us here on staff will be rising to our feet, screaming ourselves silly with the rest of your family and friends, as you lift your arms in a victorious salute and fly across the finish line.

Triumph. Celebration. Sleep.

It's all just a few days away.

We'll see you on the other side of 50K, novelist.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

today's final tally

Okay, here's the deal: In my story, I caught up to a section of it that I wrote *before* I started nanoing. So, technically, I can't count that section--2175 words--as part of my NaNo novel. However, I want to keep that section in the document so that I'm clearer in my mind about what's happening in the story. Therefore...

I have to up my final word count goal. Instead of 50,000, I have to reach 52,175. I'll still actually only be writing 50k during this month, it'll just look like more. So here's my count for today:

Word Count: 41645!!! of 52275

Left to go: 10630!!!

is it bad for water to be running out of my keyboard?

So about twenty minutes ago, I was happily nanoing along, exceeding my word count goal for the day, yay me, enjoying the cozy warmth of the office and the deep-sleep antics of Pippin. Then, fool that I am, I decided I was thirsty. After all, I'm still human, and water is something my body happens to require.

I grabbed my trusty Brita pitcher--the one with the built-in water filter--filled it, and brought it back to my desk, where I sat down. As one does when one wishes to fill a cup, I set said cup on aforementioned desk and proceeded to fill the cup--did I mention it's a Lord of the Rings cup with Aragorn, Frodo, Gandalf, Legolas, and the Pepsi logo on it?--with the water that was cheerfully filtering away in my trusty Brita pitcher. The one with the built-in water filter.

When the LoTR cup was half full, the lid of my not-so-trusty Brita water pitcher popped off.

Water everywhere. Soaking my lap, sloshing over the desk, filling the chinks between the keys on the keyboard, and coming dangerously close to the digital camera. Even the mouse was deluged. I didn't know what to pick up first, so I just left it all there and went to change my clothes instead.

Apparently, one should not consider a keyboard to be out of commission, necessarily, if one picks it up and water runs out of it. I shook it out as best I could, gave it a thrice-over with my hairdryer, and, as you can read, am now typing merrily away on it. The moral of the story--which I am bringing to an anti-climactic close, I know, but I need to get back to my NaNo novel before it's time for bed--is this:

Brita pitchers--the ones with the built-in water filters--do not always make the best sidekicks.

The End

This story has been brought to you by the number C.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

first update for today

What with calling Ed in Bulgaria to ask if he and Larry made it to Sofia, and calling Daddy in Mörfelden to ask if he's heard from Mama in Egypt (he has, finally), and fighting with the computer, I didn't get any writing done yesterday evening. Hence, I have only the following humble word count update to offer:

Word Count: 37244

I'm off to try to add to that. That's three "to"s in one sentence. "To" made up 37.5% of that sentence.

Ching! Now I'm procrastinating. ;o)

Monday, November 21, 2005

first nano update in forever

Word Count: 36187

Left to go: 13813 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Courtney classic

When I should be writing, I'm procrastinating and finding fun things on other people's blogs, like this fun thing I found on Patricia's blog:

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

Of those three movies, I've only seen "Office Space," and though it's funny, it's not one of my favorites. I guess my life is a cult classic with all the profanity bleeped out of it.

Actually, that's pretty accurate. ;o)

Friday, November 18, 2005

call the waaaaaaaaaaahhhhmbulance...

...the beermakers are pouting. My heart really bleeds for them.

I read this article about beer market woes on Yahoo! this morning. Apparently, beermakers are worried because their target market, COLLEGE STUDENTS, is turning from beer to other forms of alcoholic entertainment. Truly tragic. One marketing CEO said, "Beer isn't as cool and sexy as it once was."

That's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. The majority of 20-somethings who drink beer (or any other alcohol) drink so much of it, they end up puking their guts out on a regular basis. Since when is that cool and sexy?

Oh yeah, I find vomit particularly attractive in a male.

How ridiculous.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

a wednesday update

Word Count: 29182

Ahead of schedule. This week rocks the writing world. ;o)

a thought to share

It's taken me 14 years, but I'm finally becoming more disciplined in my personal Bible study. I haven't accomplished the ultimate goal of studying every day...but I'm working on it. Slowly but surely. :o)

Anyway, here's a passage that I read this morning, and it really encouraged me. Maybe it'll do the same for you.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,
and virtue with knowledge,
and knowledge with self-control,
and self-control with steadfastness,
and steadfastness with godliness,
and godliness with brotherly affection,
and brotherly affection with love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.

For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

II. Peter 2: 1-11

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

done for the day!

Word Count: 26213

If you haven't been reading my blog and are wondering what all the word counts are about, click here.

a NaNo peptalk

Every week of November, Chris Baty, the director of NaNoWriMo, sends out a peptalk email to all 55000 NaNo participants world-wide. I thought I'd share with you the email he sent this morning. Perhaps it will inspire some of you crazies out there to go ahead and jump in the boiling pot with the rest of us and churn out your 50k words in just 15 days instead of 30. ;o)

Dear Writer,

Did you happen to order a breeze from the NaNoWriMo store?
Because we have a second wind here with your name on it.
Ha ha ha.


Welcome to Week Three of National Novel Writing Month! Where, in addition to corny jokes, we have some amazing things to look forward to. This is the seven-day period when the drudgery lifts, our stories fall into place, and everything becomes much, much easier. As you sail into the Week of Speed, here are a few good things to keep in mind:

1) The more you write, the more inspired you're going to feel. If you're feeling pokey now, it's because you're not writing enough. Push yourself to write every day, and make a point of adding something to your word count any time you're within striking distance of a keyboard. Harness the power of micro-sessions. If you're far behind, stop figuring out where you're supposed to be each day. Instead, just dive into your story and write until you've rolled the word counter up by a thousand. Then take a twenty-minute break, and go after another thousand. Don't worry about getting caught up - that'll take care of itself. Just keep rolling those thousands.

2) Don't linger in the 20,000s. The 20,000s are a quicksand pit filled with dyspeptic hyenas. The best way to deal with the 20,000s is just to heave yourself into them and then write like mad until you're out again. Some participants do the 20,000s in three big days. These are wise participants.

3) Abandon the quest for pretty sentences. Beautiful language is small-stakes writing. We're doing something epic here. We're aiming for completion. We're shooting for the dramatic arc, for the roar of the crowd, for the ticker-tape raining down on us in slow motion as we type our final sentence, run one last word count, and then close the book on a truly triumphant month.

This is big. This is very big. And it's yours for the taking. But to get there, you need to give yourself permission to make messes. To write ungainly sentences and create absolutely atrocious dialogue. I know it hurts to leave ugly prose in your book. But you can polish everything to perfection next month. For now, it's all about crossing the halfway point of your novel and beginning the sprint homeward.

This is your moment, writer. That second wind is rising, and your victory begins today.
See you in Week Four!


There you have it, ladies and gents. I'm off to micro-session some truly atrocious prose!
Hugs to all,

Monday, November 14, 2005

i got caught up today!!!

God must've given my feeble brain and my inaccurate fingers a boost today......I managed over 5800 words!!! WOO HOO. Once again, I feel like this crazy 50k word goal might actually be attainable. By me. Please excuse the passive voice. *grin*

Word Count: 23920

Also, I found this really terrific quote today. A medical guy named Edmund Bergler wrote:

"Every writer, without exception, is a masochist, a sadist, a peeping Tom, an exhibitionist, a narcissist, an injustice collector and a depressed person constantly haunted by fears of unproductivity."

There you have it, folks. Now you finally know what's wrong with me.

Or, as they say in Korea: Ching!

stats for this morning

Blog Comments Answered: all of them, so if you've commented lately, you can go back and read my reply.

Word Count: 18045

Number of Words Behind: 5755
Hopefully, this one will change significantly by the end of the day. I'll keep you "posted," ha ha.

Friday, November 11, 2005

ich will euch updaten

Yeah, so only German-speakers will get why that's funny. Ah well. Sorry, friends. ;o)

Word Count: 17070

Currently this many words behind schedule: 1630

My parents are arriving this evening to stay for the weekend, so by Sunday night, I'll be even further behind. However, that's why God created Mondays, right?

My apologies to everyone who expected to hear from me this weekend. With regularly scheduled activities, NaNo, a sick cat, and preparing for company this weekend, I've had no time to communicate with anyone. I'll be communicado again in December. :o)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

nano and a picture

In spite of vet visits, studies, and having to boil an entire chicken for the cat...

Word Count: 14874

I didn't write yesterday, as predicted, so I'm a bit behind at this point. To be on-schedule, I should have 15300 today; perhaps I can make up for it tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a picture of the costume I wore to Bri and Randy's Fall Party last month:

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pippin's sick... I don't know if I'll be writing at all today. What with visiting the vet and trying to keep the cat comfortable, I haven't written anything. Besides, I'm concerned about her, so I'm not sure I could write anything anyway. The vet said it might be a bladder or kidney infection, which are serious illnesses for cats. Or it could be a minor digestive problem.

*sigh* I don't think I could handle the death of another friend in the space of seven months. On the other hand, I shouldn't borrow trouble, right?

Monday, November 07, 2005

today's final tally

Naps: 1
Bible Studies: 2
Meals: 2
Conversations with Jehovahs Witnesses: 1
Snacks: 2
NaNo Forum Visits: 2
Yawns: uncountable
Word Count: 13237

This means I've officially surpassed the measly 12.5k word count that I managed during last year's NaNo. I rock. ;o)

today is better, so far

Word Count: 12538

Sunday, November 06, 2005

life happens...

...and sometimes, it conspires against me. I managed a grand total of 526 words today, one fourth of what I wanted to do. Ah well, there's still tomorrow, eh?

Word Count: 10711

Saturday, November 05, 2005

today was tough

And I don't know why. Perhaps because I dreamed poorly last night and never really got over it. Perhaps because my inner editor is starting to rear its ugly, word-chomping head, complaining that I've been keeping it unfairly caged for this crazy NaNo nattering I've been doing. I don't know. At any rate, I didn't quite get my preferred word count out today--about 1500 words instead of the 2000 I'd rather do.

Maybe I just had too much time on my hands, and that sadistic little editor inside of me started whispering, Take your time. Re-read. Re-arrange a couple of sentences. C'mon, what harm could it do? You've got all the time you need today. Take it easy. Take it slow.

Result: wimpy word count, frustrated Courtney, and a bunch of characters who seemed not to want to be anything I thought they should be. I wanted my healer cleric to be so arrogant in her self-righteousness that she looks really bad to anyone observing her. But nooooo, instead, she had to be arrogant, self-righteous, and reasonable. This makes me wonder if maybe she's a little bit off her little healer cleric rocker. Which I didn't see coming at all.

I guess I just couldn't see today. In one of his books, Stephen King calls it "seeing through the paper." Looking past the paper, past the sentences and words and letters, watching as a hole opens up in that paper and shows you that other world you're trying to get to. And then, when the hole opens up and you can see, you can actually be there and then come back and describe it to your readers. Just a matter of telling them what you see through the hole in the paper.

I couldn't see through it today. The words got in my way, and the inner editor got in my line of sight.

*sigh* Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Word Count: 10185

(Actually posted 12:33 a.m. on November 6th, but I wanted this one to count for Saturday.)

we interrupt this program to bring you...

...Courtney's procrastination.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

today's NaNo update

Today, I thoroughly embarrassed my heroine by making her ride a horse that's usually reserved for high-ranking officials. The embarrassing part for her is that she got to ride while her best friends, who are captives of the bad guys, were forced to march all day after sleeping all night in the mud. What's worse, my heroine's evil, gorgeous cousin is worming her way into the affections of the guy who's my heroine's best friend. This is going to cause some jealousy, I expect.

Word Count: 4557

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

the spot on my nose

Okay, since inquiring minds want to know, here's the scoop on the whatever-it-was that was on my nose:

A few years ago, I started noticing these little colorless spots about pinhead-size on the backs of my hands. They're practically invisible to anyone but me unless I point them out. I don't know what they are, but since they haven't changed in size and haven't gained color, I don't worry about them.

About a year ago, I noticed one of those spots on the bridge of my nose. This I didn't like, because that's just about the same place my Grandma Weger had skin cancer. So I decided to keep an eye on the spot, make sure it stayed as it was, and not worry until I had something to worry about.

Then six weeks ago, I guess I scrubbed a bit too hard while washing my face, because suddenly these tiny red dots began appearing inside the colorless spot. To make a long story short, over the course of about four weeks the whole spot turned red and doubled in size. Needless to say, I decided that this was something to "worry" about, i.e. something I should be concerned about. So I got me an appointment with one o' them thar skin docs for October 27th.

The dermatologist said the spot was probably a "Blutschwämmchen" (lit. "little blood sponge"), which, apparently, is a localized swelling of tiny blood vessels. Or capillaries. Or something. As near as I can figure, the English term for it is "hemangiome." Anyway, she deadened my nose with a shot (thin skin + many nerve endings + pointy needle = a LOT of pain), sliced the offending growth out and off (the procedure, even in German, is called a "shave"), used electricity to cauterize the wound (which didn't smell very good), and sent the little blood sponge off to the lab to be tested.

I assume this means a bibopsy (that one's for Jennifer ;o). The doc said that if it's something that requires further treatment she'll call me; otherwise, she'll jus send me the lab report. So while I wait for my nose to heal (it looks none too pretty right now), I'm praying for a letter in the mailbox.

I'll keep y'all posted.

NaNo update

Am finally getting my heroine on a horse, on the road, and into the adventure that's been waiting for her since I started this story two years ago. Okay, technically she's already been in the adventure awhile...but at this point, she's starting to realize it's going to be worse than she expected. Ah, suspense. ;o)

Word Count: 2415