Thursday, November 30, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm Sad To See

November is nearly over. I have 4 days left to finsh my 50k words for NaNoWriMo. It is a sad day indeed when I realize that this month is at its end. I have 4k words to go in order to reach my goal although I'm guessing it will take another 10k to finish the story I'm writing. That's okay. I plan to keep writing into December until I have completed the initial first draft. I say initial because this draft is sort of like vomit. I just threw it all out there and it's a mess right now. Unlike vomit, however, it will not always be a mess. I will clean it up and edit it and someday it will even smell good. Someday when publishers start using scented paper for books . . .

In the meantime, I am sad to see that November is going away. The rush of NaNoWriMo is like nothing else. I am convinced that if not for that rush I would not do this writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days thing. After all, it's kind of a crazy thing to do. I enjoy the rush. It puts me back into the writing mood and helps me become more disciplined.

In fact, last year, post NaNo happy writing vibes kept me going for months. I nearly finished editing a book by the summer. Of course, my perfectionism caught up with me eventually and I was afraid to write again. That's how I am. I use NaNo as a launchpad to throw me back into a more disciplined writing schedule. I know that eventually I'll run out of fuel and have to come back down to earth for a few months until the next November. Then I prepare the fuel again -- a new plot -- and get all set to blast off into the stars once more.

That's NaNo. I've done it twice now and I love it. It's a great way to remind myself what writing means to me and it keeps me going for a while.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving America!

Thanksgiving is a truly American holiday and it's probably my favorite. Super Bowl Sunday is a close second.

Cooking a Thanksgiving dinner is an art. I take a lot of pride in making my turkey and pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and gravy and all the other things one has on Thanksgiving. But food is not really what this day is about.

This day is about giving thanks for what we have been blessed with. When you look around you will realize that you have been blessed with an awful lot of stuff. Even if you're as poor as a churchmouse, you still have people who care about you, or a roof over your head. Or the ability to read this post on a computer. I mean, you can read, isn't that cool?

But, to come to the point, there is one thing we have all been offered or blessed with. That is God's salvation. God has extended His grace to every single person through His Son's death on the cross and ressurection. And that is no small gift. That is something for which mere thanks will never be enough. Although God knows our human condition makes it impossible for us to repay Him, he still offers that salvation with no conditions. Indeed, the idea that conditions apply and that we have to earn that gift is nothing more than an insult. Although, it is possible to reject God's gift and many have done just that.

I know you're thinking that it could not be that easy. That's the trap into which many people have fallen. Yes, it's simply that easy. Jesus gave his life for our sins, we can be clean and forgiven. It's just that simple. You do not have to stare into the face of your own shortcomings and realize that you will never be good enough because Jesus did it all for us. For that I am truly thankful.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Comment Update

It seems that I can comment on non-beta blogs. However, I must be already signed in to do that. Hence, I have lost several comments on several people's blogs. Stupid blogger. They are infuriating.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

No Comments

I cannot comment on non-Beta blogs. If you want my comments you will have to switch to Beta or just wait for stupid Blogger to change it so that I can do that. For right now, it's not possible. Blogger is ridiculous. I hate them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Day 12 Is At An End

I am most of the way through Week 2: The Struggle. That is my new name for week two of NaNoWriMo because it is the most difficult week in the struggling sense.

I will name all four weeks now:

Week 1: The Sprint
Week 2: The Struggle
Week 3: The Best Part Of The Novel
Week 4: Oh Crap, I Have To Get To 50K
2 Days Left: Oh Crap! Oh Crap! Where's My 50K?

How do you like that? That about describes NaNo in its entirety. Being in week 2 is like being stuck on a roller coaster that never stops climbing upwards. You feel like you're never going to get to the good part of the novel. Every time I write I have to push myself through what I'm writing. Otherwise I get discouraged and annoyed. I finish each part of the book telling myself that the next bit will be easier and more fun to write. When I get to the next bit, I'm still on the uphill slant. It's no better than the one before and no easier. I still haven't arrived at the fun part. The hill keeps going onwards and upwards. But I do not look up. I tell myself the next part will be fun and I keep on writing. It's the only way.

One day soon the clouds will break and I will reach the summit of the roller coaster. My little car will turn at a downward slant and I'll be shouting and laughing as I write the best part of the story at record pace. My stomach will get all twisted in knots because I know it's going to be such a good story.

Right now it looks like crap and I do not know how I'm going to make it through the difficult part. Wait, I know, I remember, when I finish this part, the next will be the good part.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ah, Logic # 6

I went over to my friend Xana Ender's blog and read a very refreshing post that deserves an link under this series. Read it and you'll know why.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ah, Logic #5

Orson Scott Card is a great writer. Personally, I prefer his essays and political writings to his books. Here's a very interesting and logical article he wrote for election day.

Post Election Day Trauma

I voted electronically. It was really freaky. I felt like an elderly person faced with a Pentium II and Microsoft Outlook. I was supposed to push all these buttons beside arrows which pointed to the candidate or issue on the ballot. Somehow this qualifies as voting. Little green lights came on when I pushed the buttons. Some of the arrows did not quite correspond with their candidate and I was reminded of hanging chads and people in Palm Beach, FL.

I'm used to the old fashioned voting method. The one where you take a black marker and fill in ovals next to your candidates/proposals of choice. I'm not sure I like electronic voting. My main question is, how do you write someone in? I usually write myself into one or two slots just for fun and because I a) do not know who else to vote for or b) do not want to vote for either candidate. You are not required to choose the lesser of two evils, I always say. You can refuse to choose either. I digress. There was no pen to write someone in with. On most of the candidate slots there was no place to write someone in.

As I said, electronic voting is not for me. Can I have my cardboard ballot back? The one that I mark with a pen and then stick into the big, weird looking machine that makes funny noises? I'd like that.

Well, looks like the Dems have a little majority going there. This will be interesting. I'm hoping that the Dems can mess things up even more than the Republicans did over the past few years. Then Pence will have a better chance because he's an optimistic man and optimism usually wins after a lot of crap (e.g. FDR was optimistic and so was Ronald Reagan, both men won the presidency at decidedly depressing historical moments).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November The First

NaNoWriMo has begun and I still have not uploaded a 2006 participant icon or even mentioned what I'm doing this month. I'm working on a fantasy parody/high fantasy/ it's supposed to be funny fantasy. So far there are a few funny bits and it's mostly ridiculous. But I'm over 11,000 words in so at least I'm moving right along. NaNoWriMo has one point: write 50k words of a story be it good or dreadful.

Writers are by nature perfectionists. We like to read back over what we have written and whine about how it's not right. Then we say we have writer's block and refuse to do anything for weeks on end. I'm definitely guilty as charged.

NaNoWriMo is a reminder that you will not write anything good if you do not write. I am taking that to heart this year. I have ignored all of the dreadful crap I've written and kept going despite the odd moments of wondering if I should scrap my plot and do something different. The second week is always the worst week. But once I clear that hurdle I'll be home free. The second week of NaNo starts tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Am I Alone?

Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this way and notices these things. I just finished reading this article on how Saddam is urging Iraqis to unify. He also suggests that Iraqis not take revenge on the U.S. Okay. He is trying real hard to get people to forget his own crimes. Does anyone believe this guy for a second?

Saddam Hussein asking Iraqis to unify is like the KKK offering reparations. It's completely illogical. The sectarian violence would not be anywhere near what is is if Saddam had not exacerbated it with mass killings.

I'm definitely disgusted.

Furthermore, suggesting that Iraqis not take revenge on the U.S. is a blatant attempt to veer attention away from any of Saddam's crimes which are many.

I think I'm gonna go outside and jump up and down shouting now.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Making A Fashion Statement

It's time for me to come out of my shell and make a fashion statement. One that the whole world will notice. Well, maybe not the whole world, maybe not even anyone outside my general acquaintances. In reality, I hope that some people in my own community will notice. Every female in the area needs some desperate fashion help. I hope this is not a country wide problem. Oh, you haven't noticed? Hmm. Four words then:

The '80s are back.

I realize that I may have lost a significant portion of my audience to heart attacks and the like after that statement. Sorry, but I'm talking truth here. It must be said. So, here is my fashion statement (this is for the ladies and for the men who care enough to let the ladies know when something bad is happening to them):

1) Leggings/leg warmers/whatever the hell you call them were never, ever, ever cool in your wildest dreams or nightmares. They're still not cool.

3) Opaque tights are for 5 year olds and younger, there is no way around that.

4) Turned up collars are wrong and are also for 5 year olds.

5) Wearing dirty sweat clothes is gross and makes me think you need to take a shower and that you stink.

6) Oversized sweaters with enormous buttons/bows zippers/etc are horrific, simply horrific.

7) Vests were not meant to be worn except for when wearing a tuxedo or suit and then they need to match the suit. Wearing a vest over an old t-shirt is not and never has been cute. If you think it is cute then you should probably be very worried about getting a job because no one is going to hire a 1980s freak.

8) Big hair is morally wrong. You should be ostracized for having big hair.

9) Ruffled blouses ought to be dragged out into the street and run over by a dump truck then buried in a landfill or flushed down the toilet.

10) Skinny pants are not skinny pants. They are tapered leg pants and they have always been ghastly. Do not wear them.

That is my fashion statement. I hope someone listens to me. I hate being on a campus again and getting to see all the sheep who go along with the styles that are supposed to be cool but are actually dreadful. I firmly believe that the '80s have returned because those who lived through the '80s feared to show their embarrassing photographs of their awful clothing to the younger generation. The younger generation does not know better because the older ones failed their duty. It's a sorry state of fashion.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hats Off To You, Mr. Luther

Yesterday was Reformation Day. I would toast a long and happy life to Martin Luther, the man who made Reformation Day, but he's been dead for quite some time. Of course, I'm a Lutheran, so that's the only reason I'm talking right now.

I am not one of those Lutherans who eats, lives and breathes everything Martin Luther ever said. I find some of his words to be true and interesting. Others are rather humorous in their outright crankiness. And some are not at all true. I do think that his codification of doctrine was very well done and I agree with a lot of it. Generally, I do not call myself a Lutheran, because I never liked the Lutheran arrogance. I still do not like that. It was the reason that I had a lot of trouble becoming a Lutheran. I did not want to turn into an arrogant person who sat around talking about why everyone else was wrong. Fortunately that is not requisite for being Lutheran and here I am. I'm sure I'm more arrogant than I think, but you get the general idea.

Back to the topic now. I would like to offer a warm round of applause to Martin Luther. I am happy that such a guy existed to put the world off the track of massive church corruption, at least inasmuch as he did. I wonder what the world would be like now if Martin Luther had never existed and had not been quite so hardheaded when he did. It would probably be a lot weirder. Hats off to you, Mr. Luther.