Monday, October 29, 2012

T-Three Days to NaNo

T-Three days to NaNo

Word Count - 0

 NaNo is three days away and I still don't have shit going on in my head.  I'm not feeling negative, I still think I have a good shot at it. I just have a feeling I am going to sink to winning in -what I feel is- a cheating way. Maybe it will be writing short stories, or doing fanfiction, or some other lame assed bullcrap. It doesn't help that my daughter is reading "Water for Elephants" for her freshman college English class.

Yes - I have a copy of the ultimate NaNo winner sitting across the room baiting me.

Blech blech blech.

Where are the Reeses when you need them?

Monday, October 22, 2012

No Plot No Problem My Ass


T-minus 9 days and counting

Word Count - 0
First, let me just say...Welcome to The Nuttiness that is NaNo 2012, and more importantly, NaNoWrimo 2012. Yes, it is that wonderful time of year again. French Vanilla Cappuccino, Reeses Peanut Butter cups and...oh I almost forgot, thirty days and nights of literary abandon. 50,000 words in 30 days, licence to write absolute  shit without guilt. That is exactly why NaNoWriMo is a perfect fit for me - I quite often write shit.

There is a book that anyone who has ever done NaNoWriMo is familiar with, written by Chris Baty - No Plot, No Problem. 

Sorry - but, no plot no problem my ass!  With only nine days to go, I have no plot and I am finding it to be quite problematic. I refuse to bow to writing Fanfiction this year as I have the past two years. It was the easy way out, required very little to no actual mind power on my part, and I am not going there this year. At my age, it is time to either crap or get off the toilet. 

Which brings me to my current dilemma. As mentioned above - I have no plot. I have a basic idea, I have a few characters with sketchy personalities. They are a bit like the people you watch on the bus - vague shadows of human beings with faces you won't remember as soon as they step out of your vision. I need more - I need clarity. 

I have always been a pantser, I've never done an outline - I've never needed to. But I have been in a bit of a rut creatively since February. That is the last time I did any serious writing. Even my fanfiction writing has ceased to exist. Yes, it is mostly due to the high stress spring and summer I had (and am still having).  

I have one story that is waiting for an ending before I pound in the last nail on my fanfiction writing career. I haven't looked at it in months but today  I took the plunge, and to my surprise I actually pounded out a few paragraphs before real life intruded and I had to stop. My hope is that I can get going on it this week and get the final four chapters written on it before next week, killing two birds with one stone. Ending my Fanfiction life, and getting myself back into writing before NaNo. 

Hopefully it works, because if it doesn't - I just may be in trouble this year. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 27 - Gone Purple

Word Count - 56210

And so, for me at least, another NaNo has gone into the record books. Purple bar ahieved, winners badge obtained, certificate filled out. 

The purple is always met with mixed feelings, at least for me. Happiness and wonder at my achievement of course, but also the sadness that another NaNo is coming to a close. This year is particularly sad because - unlike other years, I have fully experienced the joy of social NaNo. No, I might not have made it to write -in's or kick off parties. There are no end of NaNo celebrations in the future - though I did get to finally toss away my crutches last week - this stupid knee brace is history pretty soon too, no matter what my Dr says! What does he know anyway?  

I have to admit to a overwhelming feeling of melancholy as I sit now to write my final Nuttiness that is NaNo blog - I will be officially be putting this on hiatus as of today. I have already started a new one called CJLand that I will post to over the coming year. I hope that you will follow me over there and join for updates, even though they may not be regular. I will be posting snippets of writing and maybe a little poetry when the mood strikes.

Another year, come and gone. So fast! Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon. What an appropriate title - November seems to be abandoning me so quickly! It will all be over soon, even though technically my challenge ended on November 13th, the spirit has lingered. Soon, participation in the forums will fall off. My beloved Guilty Secrets thread will go silent, and who knows what will become of the NaNo circle on Google+ that I have come to love so much.

I dread it all, the loss, the uncertainty, and most off all I dread the 366 days between now and November 1st 2012.  Yes, that's right - 366. 2012 is a leap year. Damn it all to hell!

Over time I will forget, by February it will be a vague memory. Somewhere around the beginning of August I will remember that November isn't that far off and it is time to start planning. I will think - 'I really should prepare better this year' I will realize that I will do better if I have a defined plot and characters in mind. Then I will forget all about it until October. Then the hustle will begin, characters will take form, a plot will be born, scenes, places, scenarios - all will come to life as the trees go from green to red, yellow and orange.I will determine to go slow, to take my time and enjoy the ride.  If past NaNo's are any indication, all my determination and plotting will be ignored once I start pounding on the keys at midnight November 1st.

I am a pantser who has the need for speed. It is who I am, and at my age, I don't see that changing anytime soon. Meh - I am what I am, I guess I can live with that.

I've had to overcome a lot to succeed this year. Not a bit of it was easy - not one single word. I ended up with a piece of crap that has already been salvaged, scrapped and dumped. About 35k sits now in the bottom of my recycling bin. But that's the thing about NaNo, you don't have to be perfect, it is the ideal challenge for me, because I so seldom am.

Like I said at the start of the month - it's all about the ride. Feeling the wind in your hair as you zoom past the milestones. 1k - 5k - 10k 20-30-40-50k and beyond. Blue to Green to Purple. Well, normal years - we didn't get green this year. Not everyone made 50k, and that's okay too. The point is having tried at all. For those who read this who didn't make it - I hope from the bottom of my heart that you will try again next year.  I didn't win my first year, but man it lit a fire in me that carries over to this day.

 And so, as I look back on another November, I'm thinking again about the ghosts of NaNo past and how they have a new friend. I realize that they aren't the only ones. Because it isn't the writers block, the horrible sex scene I struggled through, or even the lovely chocolate I will remember about NaNoWriMo 2011.

It will be you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day Twenty - Out of the NaNo Folder and Into the Trash

Word Count - 53784

I sat down yesterday and read through my NaNo project start to finish and about halfway through I realized that there is a reason why I hated writing it so much - it is TERRIBLE! My FMC is a horrible, crabby, mean spirited shrew. My MMC is a human door mat under her feet, and my background characters are made out of extremely flimsy cardboard. In short, I have managed to do the epitome of everything I hate about fanfiction.

It's disappointing, my project from year two is awaiting it's second edit - I am hoping that this winter I can finally whip it into publishable shape. My project from last year - also fanfiction - was posted last Christmas to rave reviews. But that's life, right? With success comes failure. Even so, this isn't a complete failure. I did manage to get 53k out of this mess. It's another reminder of what NaNo is all about, writing just for the sake of writing - quantity over quality. Sometimes you get both, sometimes you don't. The important thing is doing your best.

So I'll be thinking of this, even as I slide my document into the recycling bin. I'll be reflecting on how it was worth it, each horrible, annoying stroke of the key on my way to 53k. Hell, it might not even stop here - that other bunny is still playing in the grass, and I still have ten days left. Maybe I can pull something good out.

I overcame great adversity during NaNoWriMo this year, I came into it 99% sure that I was going to fail. It's nice, for once, to be wrong on the side of good. I think this is going to give me strength while I continue to face our situation over the coming months. We have a lot to overcome still, but at least I can say that I have climbed one mountain and stood - victorious - at the peak.

And the view is lovely up here. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day Sixteen - Just a Little Something I Wrote This Moring

Word Count - 53784

Now that I have reached 50k I have decided to take some time to do some writing for fun . I wrote a little this morning on my NaNo project to pad my word count a bit - just in case the validator decides to be touchy and mean, and then I came up with a new little something and i thought, what the hell - I'll share. So for what it is worth, here it is:

Harry Potter fanfiction, so obviously, it isn't mine. I think I got all the typos, forgive me if I didn't = )

~*~An Eternity of Tears~*~


It was almost as if he was floating, yet he could feel a solid surface under his cheek, neither cold nor warm.

It just was. 

He just was as well, neither cold nor warm, almost as if he had no senses, no scent reached his nose, no sound reached his ears, just the slightest sensation that told him he was lying on something flat.

It occurred to him then that maybe he should be afraid. This was odd, something he had never experienced before and as a human being he was supposed to be afraid of the unknown. At the very least he was supposed to feel some sort of caution, he was supposed to feel something- anything. Wasn’t he? The only thing that alarmed him was the fact that he didn’t seem to be feeling anything at all.

Maybe - perhaps, it would help if he opened his eyes.

And so he opened them, slowly becoming aware of his surroundings, and yet - there was really nothing to see. Nothing but white that is. It was as if he was standing in white puffy clouds, the sort that he had always imagined would be billowy soft to the touch, like cotton- though he knew clouds were nothing but water.

He sat up slowly, realizing as he did that he was naked.  How odd, he had never had a problem with nudity in the past, yet here - in this place- he felt vulnerable and exposed and so he wished he had robes. He looked around himself, down near his feet was a pile of white cloth that he hadn’t noticed before. He picked it up and pulled it on, then fastened the clasps to secure it.

He pushed himself to his feet and took in his surroundings. Everything was ghostly white, surrounding him were very pale walls covered in box filled shelves that were faintly familiar. It looked a bit like his shop back in Diagon Alley, though he couldn’t really be sure.

“Where am I?” He asked softly, his voice echoing in his ears, almost as if he were speaking inside his mind rather than verbally.

The voice came as a disjointed echo, as if it too came from inside him. “You don’t know?”

He spun around, his eyes searching wildly,  for the voice was achingly familiar. Like his own, but not quite. “Fred?”

From the mist a figure began to take form, a shock of bright red hair, hands - feet, and then a face - the most wonderful face he had ever seen.

“Fred!” He ran forward to embrace, his arms tight, his face buried against his neck while tears poured down his face.

“Hello George.” Fred’s grip was equally as tight. As much as he hated that George had followed him here, he couldn’t deny that a selfish part of him - the tiny human part that still lingered - was happy for this chance to see him. In just the few hours they had been apart, he had missed him terribly.

“Oh Fred!  Fred, they told me…I saw you…” George trembled in his brothers arms, his hands clenched tightly in the robes at his back. “I thought you were dead!”

A swift and terrible jolt of pain shot through him, he had been trying so hard to come to grips with it, despite the help he had gotten from the others, having to leave his family - having to leave George was nearly unbearable. Now, to be called back here, back to this place, made it even worse. But he had had to come. He was the only one who could do what needed to be done.

“I am dead Georgie.” Very gently he pulled away, forcing George to look at him - to really look at him. For the first time, George noticed the difference. Fred was paler now, the skin unwrinkled and smooth. Scars that had lingered after their bout with dragon pox were gone, the scar where he had fallen off the old tree behind the Burrow was gone from his chin. It was as if his body had somehow become perfect, unmarred by ever having been … alive.

“I don’t understand.” He stumbled back, trying to take it all in. If Fred had died, if he really was dead, then…

“If you’re dead, then how is it I am seeing you? Why are we together?”

Fred straightened his back, a mixture of emotions flickering in his eyes. Sadness, anger and fear, all joined together, and being directed at him.

“You don’t remember, do you?” Of course he didn’t, he didn’t remember how he had died either.

A feeling George didn’t like clenched in his stomach, he didn’t remember - but he suspected. “No, I … I don’t remember.”

“Then let me show you.”

Fred raised an arm and for the first time George realized he was holding a wand. He waved it, yet he said no words. A large pool appeared before them, like a massive pensieve. Inside it, a hazy silver mist swirled, then Fred waved the wand again and Hogwarts appeared…

He woke with a start in Gryffindor tower, Fred’s face still alive behind his eyes, so cold - so covered in blood. The ache came again, bringing with it the tears and soul shattering grief.  He looked across the room, at the bed where his brother had slept for seven years, then rose and caressed the curtain covered poles before turning for the door. 

The castle was dark, everyone sleeping. Tomorrow, he knew, they would all be leaving. They would take Fred home and then they would bury him in the cold lonely ground. Tomorrow they would be separated, but he could be with him tonight, so he went to the cool potions dungeons where the bodies had been prepared for burial. Fred was the only one who remained.

He pulled a chair up the table where Fred lay, then pulled the sheet back, picked up his hand and held it to his cheek. He looked a little better now, the dirt and blood had been cleaned away, the horrible bruises wiped away by magic. But nothing could make his eyes open again, nothing could bring back his smile - not even the ghost that Percy had said lingered after his death.  

The pain came, he lay his cheek on Fred’s chest and let the sobs come, his body shaking violently. He quieted for a moment, thinking he heard someone in the hall. He didn’t much care about being seen anymore, so he waited for the door to open - it never did. 

He thought again about the funeral the next day. Tomorrow, they would put his brother in his best robes, they would put him in a box and they would cry while they lowered him into the ground. They would be separated - Fred and George Weasley who were never seen one without the other - would be apart. It was wrong, it was unfair - 

It wasn’t to be allowed. 

He sat up, looking about the room. In the corner, by Professor Slughorns desk, was a shelf containing small bottles - bottles that he knew contained various poisons. 

He could end this, he could end it all now. The pain, the suffering, he could…he could be with Fred, they need never be separated.

He rose from the chair, crossing to the shelf, then picked up the largest bottle and returned to Fred’s side. He pulled the stopper, then bent and kissed Fred’s forehead before raising the bottle to his lips and draining it. 

“I drank the poison.” George said “I remember now.”

“Yes,” Fred looked at him angrily, his eyes full of censure and disgust. “You did.”

“I did it to be with you,” He said, his tone defensive. Couldn’t he see, didn’t he understand - “I did it so we could stay together!”

“You did it because you are selfish!” Fred’s face was inches from his, his pale brown eyes glaring hatefully into his brothers. “You didn’t want to be sad anymore, well boo-hoo, poor little Georgie! You think you’re the only one sad? You think you are the only one hurting? Don’t you hear them?”

He pointed the wand at the pensieve again and the quiet was filled with the sound of soft sobbing. “Look!”

Nervously, George stepped to the edge again and looked over the rim. There were many faces inside now - a man and a woman, a boy he vaguely knew at their side. He remembered the boy’s brother was fond of taking pictures. A woman held a baby with bright pink hair while she sat at table which held two photographs - one of her daughter and her husband, the boys parents.

A girl with girly blond hair lay in a hospital bed in an overcrowded ward, her face and body bandaged from head to toe. He saw Harry, sitting quietly alone while he held an empty flask that had once held memories. Then - he saw his own family, gathered together, their faces white and tear streaked while his mother sobbed in his fathers arms.

George turned away, but the sound of the crying didn’t stop. It went on around him, painful proof that he hadn’t been suffering alone, that perhaps Fred was right - he had been selfish. But it didn’t change anything, not really, not now that the deed was done.

“I’m not done with you yet.” Fred took his arm and spun him around to face the pensieve again.

The crying became louder, so loud that George had to cover his ears. It echoed off the walls and reverberated inside him until he felt like he might be sick, he was so dizzy he fell to his knees - his face hung over the side of the pensieve. In it, he saw his mother on the ground in a cemetery, her face in her hands while she screamed out in grief. His father and bothers knelt next to her, trying to urge her to her feet. To the side, Ginny stood, his face horrified, streaming with tears - Ron and Hermione next to her, Harry stood away from them all, his face turned away in shame while he said over and over again “All my fault - all my fault.”

George turned away, if he could have, he would have vomited. “Your funeral…”

“No,” Fred knelt in front of him, his face full of hatred “Ours. You did this to them George. When I died they were able to accept it because my death had a purpose, I died fighting for something. You died for nothing.”

He stood, his eyes not leaving George, the expression shifting between hate and sadness. “Don’t you know George what I would give to be able to go back, to have what you had? You had a future - a chance to marry, to have children and grow old with someone special by your side. I would give anything to have that. You had it and you tossed it away - like it was nothing - like it meant nothing. I died so you could have all that, you made my sacrifice worthless.”

George looked up at him, aghast, sickened that he could even think such a thing. How could he ever think his sacrifice was worthless?

He put out his hand, his face sad now, his eyes pleading. “There is one more thing you need to see.”

George accepted the hand and as he did, the many sobs around him went dim. Now, he heard one person - a single person crying softly. But this wasn’t surrounding him - it was inside him - inside his heart.

“I don’t under…” He started to gag, a horrible choking like someone shoving something down his throat. He looked at Fred questioningly.

“She’s trying to save you.” He motioned to the pensieve and George looked over again. In the mist, he saw himself on the floor of the potions dungeon, his face covered in foamy bile that bubbled from his mouth. A blonde girl knelt over him, his head in her lap while she poked her finger deep into his throat.

“Breathe,” She pleaded softly while tears fell down her face “Please George, please breathe!”

She let her forehead rest against his, her fingers splayed over his cheek while she rocked back and forth and sobbed. George looked at Fred questioningly.

“She saw you on the stairs and followed you. She felt she was being intrusive so she let you be. She couldn’t get shake the feeling that something was wrong, so she went back and found you on the floor. You were seizing,” He nodded to the pensive, “She’s just put a bezoar down your throat, hoping she found you in time.”

He looked away from Fred again, watching the girl through the mist of the pensieve. Seeing her like that-crying over his body- reminded him of his mother crying over Fred’s and it filled him with a new pain. A pain built on a foundation of selfishness - the pain of knowing that you had brought others pain. He felt a sharp jerk in the center of his stomach and he looked at Fred again.

“It’s the bezoar.” Fred explained “It’s trying to work.”

George nodded, thinking about how sad he would be to leave Fred behind again if the bezoar worked. The idea of living without him, spending the rest of his life apart from him, it made the pain return.

“What if I don’t want to go back?” He asked “What if I want to stay with you?”

Fred looked at him angrily for a moment, then his face relaxed again. Could he really blame him when he knew he would have battled the same feelings if the situations had been reversed?

“Then you can stay.” He shrugged “But you should know, in staying you will live for an eternity in tears.”

George looked at him, confused.

 “The crying - you will hear it for as long as they do. As long as they mourn you, their crying will haunt you, even here.”

He nodded to the pensieve, the girl brushed her fingers through his hair, her head on his chest now while she pleaded with him to come back.

“She blames herself you know. She thinks that if she hadn’t left you to yourself you wouldn’t have drank the poison, and it’s the truth. She will carry the guilt with her for the rest of her life. She will never stop crying for you, you will never stop hearing her.” Fred looked at the girl sadly and a single tear slipped down his cheek. “Have you noticed that you hear her differently than the others?”

“Yeah, I…” He felt the jerk again, stronger this time. Was it a sign? Was he doubting what he wanted? Did he really want to go back? “It’s like it’s in my heart.”

“In your soul too.” Fred smiled, his eyes still on the girl “It’s because she loves you. She has for a long time, but she is afraid to tell you. If you’re feeling her there - it means that you love her too - even though you don’t know it yet.”

“I don’t under…” He gasped, feeling the jerk again, even stronger this time.

“She could be a sister - in - law,  a best friend, a lover, your future wife.” Fred shrugged “Love has many faces. The only thing for certain is that if you go back, one day, you will love her very much.”

He felt the jerk again, strong enough to pull him backwards several inches. He looked at Fred in alarm - had his heart already decided?. His mind, his senses - they longed to stay, they wanted just a moment more, and another after that. “Fred - I don’t want to …”

And yet, he felt the jerk again.

“You do.” Fred moved swiftly, George had already started to fade. “It will be hard, it is for me too, but I’ll be watching out for you. Her too -” He jerked his head towards the fountain where her image was starting to fade. “I owe her a debt of gratitude for saving you.”

“We’ll be together again someday?”

“Yes George, we will. And instead of the tears you would have if you stayed now,” Fred smiled “We will spend eternity laughing.”

George smiled. An eternity of laughter - it seemed fitting for Fred and George Weasley. So much more than an eternity of tears.

“Love you Fred,” He reached out, his arms barely able to grasp his brother - they connected for only a moment, just before Fred became mist, but his voice echoed one final time…

“Love you George.”

He was cold, so cold he thought he might shiver into pieces, and yet there was warmth above him. The sound of soft sobs echoed off the stone walls and he remembered the girl, the girl he had seen weeping in the pensieve.

“George...” She whispered, her gentle fingers brushed over his cheek, wiping the disgusting foam away.  “You can’t do this. Please, please come back.”

He tried to raise his hand, to give her some sign that he was alive. He was so weak, his body felt leaden and exhausted, it felt like it was a Herculean effort to raise his hand to her arm.

“Luna,” His whisper was faint and hoarse.

“George?” Her voice was soft, almost afraid that she was dreaming. It had been so long since she had put the bezoar down his throat, over a minute since she had felt a pulse. She sat up and put her fingers to his neck - it was there, weak and thready, but it was there. “Oh George - thank Merlin.”

“No,” He croaked with a faint shake of head. It felt like it weighed a ton. “Thank you.”

She smiled and lay his head on the floor, then pulled off her sweater and put it over him. “I need to fetch Madam Pomfrey, I’ll be right back, okay?”

He nodded, watching silently while she ran from the room. There was going to be hell to pay when his family found out what he had done, Ginny would probably hit him, maybe even his mum too. It would be a long time before any of them let him out of their sight, they might even put him in St. Mungo’s  for a spell. He was okay with that. Maybe he needed someone to talk to about all of this, someone to help him come to peace with his feelings over losing Fred. He got it now -he didn’t have to go it alone anymore - he’d never had to in the first place.

And Luna - Luna would be by his side. He looked forward to that, though he barely knew anything about her. She was a promise; a promise of friendship, a promise of love - it didn’t matter. Luna was a promise for the future - Luna was hope.

George lay quietly, waiting for the sound of footsteps on the stone stairs. He rolled his head to the side, seeing the overturned chair and the empty bottle of poison on the floor next to him. A shudder went through him as he thought of how close he had come to tossing it all away.

He looked up, seeing the sheet that covered Fred’s body. The painful ache came once again and his eyes filled with tears while he thought of Fred’s words - all the things he had lost and would have given anything to have back.  A chance to marry, to have children and grow old with someone special by his side. He couldn’t give Fred his life back -but he could live enough for both of them.

A faint sound came to him from the top of the stairs and he tensed, afraid for the returning sound of tears. They were foot steps, many foot steps. Luna had returned with Madam Pomfrey.

“It’s going to be okay George,” Luna knelt down next to him, then took his hand and smiled brightly “Madam Pomfrey is going to take you to the Hospital Wing now. She has potions that will help you get better, Professor McGonagall has gone to wake your family.”

She let his hand go, then began to move away to give Madam Pomfrey room to work, instead, George gripped her hand tightly, refusing to let her go. “Stay with me, please?”

She looked at Madam Pomfrey, who nodded in return, giving permission. Luna took his hand in hers again.

“I’ll stay as long as you want me too.”

He squeezed her hand, warmed by the smile on her face - it was beautiful, like sunshine, so much nicer than her tears. He hoped he would never see her cry again, and more than anything else, he hoped that his heart would remain as it was at that moment.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Day Fourteen - My Friend Bacardi

Word Count - 50257

That number is not moving for awhile, I've crossed the finish line, it's time to take a break.

Since I never got around to finishing the blog I started to write yesterday, I thought I would write it today. I popped in my intro under another name  so I had a post for Day Thirteen - continuity... you know?

So I was going to write about Saturday. I had this whole wonderful childless day ahead of me, no noise, no worry about the T.V. being turned on, no worry about sudden spontaneous singing breaking into my concentration. I love my daughter to death, but when she puts on headphones, she can't carry a tune to save her life.

Anyway, I had this whole day, so I decided I would go for it. I was 8900 or so words away from 50k, and I decided it would be cool, since I couldn't break my record, to at least match it. So I sat down at nine a.m. to get busy. Of course, I had to check my Facebook first, then my Google+, Twitter, and of course I had to breeze by the NaNo site, just to see if anyone had messaged me or commented on my last bit of wittiness. It is the morning routine and nothing can be done unless I complete it.

It is also a trap.

A comment on the NaNo site lead my to my account on, where I ended up reviewing some of my older single chapter stories. A couple hours there - of course I had to go back and check my Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and NaNo where I re-read the comment and sent me back to Before I realized it, it was four o'clock. I had managed to piss off seven hours and countless words in the interest of procrastination. Ah - procrastination. If I could find a way to get paid for it, I would be the best employee in the world.

Finally, I forced myself to close my browser and open my word document where I instantly realized that I needed another constellation - some of my characters are named after constellations you see. Unfortunately, constellations are terribly interesting things. Two and a half hours later I was reading about the Apollo program - something that has fascinated me since seeing the movie Apollo 13. By then, I had to get off the computer for awhile. My stomach was screaming at me, and Voyage of the Dawn Treader was coming on HBO. The one distraction that day I am actually glad I caved into, the movie was wonderful and won't even get into my feelings on Ben Barnes - I hate cleaning drool off my keyboard.

So here I was, nine o'clock, my goal shot to hell, once again in the NaNo forum. When what to my wandering eyes should appear - but a topic on drinking and Nano. Yes, I know it doesn't rhyme - but work with me here. Hey- does that count?

I'm not much of a drinker. I quit smoking in '98 and when I realized that it was too hard to stay off the smokes and drink, I decided to quit drinking for awhile - then discovered that I didn't miss it all that much. But, over the last couple of years, I have decided that a drink now and then didn't hurt anything. During a particularly stressful weekend a couple months ago, I decided to get completely loaded, went to the liquor store and bought a huge bottle of Bacardi and then lost enthusiasm for the idea between there and home. So it's been pretty much gathering dust - though I admit to a drink or two. So I began to consider my bottle, it started looking pretty attractive I have to admit, so I blew off the dust and poured myself a big one, a strong one too, since I gagged violently on my first sip. Funny, that was how I mixed them 20 years ago and it didn't make me gag then. = )

I sat back down and opened my word document, it was awkward at first, but then - like magic- the words began to fly from my fingers. 500 - 1000 - 1500- 2000- 3000- 4000- 6000- Four am and I had typed 6000 words, and my bottle of Bacardi was a whole lot emptier. A WHOLE lot. The miracle of it is, the next day when I looked over all I had read, it actually made sense - though I will be correcting a lot of typos and wrong words when the time comes to edit.

It's not something I plan to do often, I prefer to write under my own power. But sometimes you just need that little key to unlock the door and loosen the mind to fly free. So I have to admit that Bacardi is my friend, a friend I will visit again. I can imagine him coming in handy when my enemy writers block pays me a call. Sometimes you just gotta do, what you just gotta do.

Even if it does make your head feel like mush the next morning.

Day Thirteen - At the Finish Line

Word Count - 50,257

So wow, here I am at 50k, I have to admit, the view from up here is pretty dang awesome.

I am finishing about 12 hours behind where I finished last year, which considering that I have about ten times the stress than I had last year at this time, is a pretty awesome accomplishment.

Right now, my only thought is getting off the computer, taking a shower and spending time with my kid.

Next Iron Chef... here I come!