Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's NaNoWriMo Time Again!

Beginning November 1, I will, once again, plunge into the madness of NaNoWriMo, or, for those of you who don't know, National Novel Writing Month.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of deranged people try to write a 50,000-word novel, from scratch, during the month of November. I have done it twice--yes, twice! It averages to about 1800 words a day, a bit more, I think, but I aim for about 2000 words a day. In a good two hour period, that's not hard at all.
What's hard is coming up with an idea. The last two years, I already had my novels plotted out in my head. This year, I'm not sure. I have an idea for a post-apocalyptic novel, but I'm afraid it would be too derivative, since I just finished reading Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. Apocalyptic, indeed. I think I'll try it anyway.
This year, I won't be pounding this out on my laptop; I'll be using my new desktop, unless we have a "write-in" at Barnes and Noble, or some other place. I say "we" because I'm not the only lunatic in this area who participates. I might be one of the few who finishes, though!
I always manage to work this around my courses. I'm well-organized, but I become hyper-organized during this time, reserving either early morning or late night hours for writing. I'm going to get those hours in, regardless of what else I have to do.
So, happy NaNo, to those of my friends who participate. To everyone else, see you Nov. 30!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Time to Update...

I don't keep up with my blogs (I have three) the way I keep up with my Facebook page. Most of the time, I don't think about my blogs until I check student blogs on Sunday. Then, I'm too busy grading to think about writing.

Today, though, I decided to stop and post. I know change is a good thing, but, as with most people, it drives me up a wall, especially when I can't "plan" for it.

That sounds odd--planning for change. But, sometimes, we can see it coming and adapt our lives and routines to accommodate it.

Several months ago--before summer, actually--I saw these signs go up on the vacant lot across the street from me--"Motel Coming Soon--Make Advanced Reservations Now," with the obligatory phone number underneath. And, while the owner/manager/builder did some preliminary work during the summer, not much happened until recently.

The town brought a backhoe on my property and proceeded to tear down the plants and flowers on the side of my property--there's a ditch on one side of my lot, and the town mayor told me the state ordered them to clean the ditch out. Of course, no one bothered to tell me this was going to happen, so I had a long, angry talk with the mayor about bringing heavy equipment on my property without telling me.

So, once the motel work started hot and heavy, what did I encounter? A "Bobcat" sitting in my front yard one Thursday afternoon. The town and the motel builder have two deep, huge holes dug in my front yard, exposing the sewer and water pipes. I have Bobcat tracks all over my front yard and mounds of dirt and orange markers everywhere.

I bought my house because it is in the town, yet, because the lot is about an acre, it's "country," too. Even though I live in the city, it's been quiet and peaceful. Well, until the motel building began. Now, I wake every morning to the sound of beeping and dump trucks, or hammers pounding on the roof of the motel. For a while, I awakened to the grinding of a huge crane lifting "boxes" that formed the rooms of this motel. While an interesting sight, the noise annoyed me to no end. Some days, I could hardly hear myself think.

This worries me. I don't like the idea of a motel across the street from me, but, again, no one asked me how I felt about it. I'm hoping the owner puts a huge fence around it to block the noise and the sight, but I doubt that will happen. My idyllic homestead is becoming a casualty of progress, and I don't like it.