Friday, November 30, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 29

Word count: 52,335 (52,407 validated)
Target word count: 48,343
Days to go: 1
Words left to write: 0

It is done.

NaNo 2007 winner

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 28

Word count: 47,343 (47,407 validated)
Target word count: 46,676
Days to go: 2
Words left to write: 2657

Slow day. :/ At least I'm ahead some. Two days to go, and if I don't write at least 50k worth of words, I don't get a tshirt as a reward. Bleh.

Because I bought a tshirt after I finished Script Frenzy as a reward for having completed it. Thus, if I complete NaNo 2007, "I wrote a novel and all I got was this shiny tshirt"... ;) So no win - no tshirt. And a tshirt would be nice.

I think, tomorrow I will write about them getting back to the real world. I suppose. They're in a library at the moment.

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 27

Word count: 46,065 (46,127 validated)
Target word count: 45,009
Days to go: 3
Words left to write: 3935

And if I actually spend the day writing tomorrow, which I should have done today but didn't, maybe I'll even finish tomorrow! :O Would be a stroke of luck though, as I've only written like 4k when I wrote... a certain chapter. We'll see how it goes. Will be busy on Thursday, so it's tomorrow and then see what I can do on Thursday and then it's Friday, and time's up on Friday... and it would be nice to finish ahead of schedule. If I go to bed now, maybe I'll even be able to get out of bed at a reasonable time in the morning so I can get crackin'. Good night.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 24

Word count: 40,239 (40,297 validated)
Target word count: 40,008
Days to go: 6

Still on target and slightly ahead! Mind you, it's 1am now so it's not like it's an early night, or anything. Once I got down to it, it was pretty quick to get those last 1300 words I needed. It would be silly to leave it and go into a deficit again when I've finally managed to get ahead.

I've broken the 40k barrier! 9761 words to go in six days. I'd say that's doable. The fact that my novel isn't about a terrible lot of things and probably not that interesting for anyone except myself is beside the point. My Word file is over 90 pages long now. I've never had a document that long, containing only a story I had written myself. Which makes me feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside to think that I have made something. :) After all these years of wanting to write a book and become an author, well, at least I seem to have written a book! To call myself an author would be pushing it, though. Perhaps if I can work on it so that it DOES become an interesting story for other people to read, THEN we can start discussing adding new job titles.

Wow. NaNo is actually perfectly doable. Even if you are working full time. Without losing too much sleep. Do need to hoover quite badly, though, and do other bits and bobs, but once NaNo is out of the way, there will be plenty of time for Xmas cleaning and decorating and all that nice Decembery stuff. Like switching to the Xmas blog template... :B Hehe. Oh, maybe I ought to do a template for November that is less frosty leaves and more writing books? But then I should also make one for June which is more about writing screenplays. So much to consider! But I'm going to sleep on it now.

Because tomorrow, I'm looking forward to writing about what it's like to have food and lodging in a mythological place. I'm thinking underground. Which should make one of my characters freak out... hrm. Didn't think of that. We'll see what happens. 'Night!

Friday, November 23, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 23

Word count: 38,400 (38,455 validated)
Target word count: 38,341
Days to go: 7

Good thing I decided to piece the text together. Because again, I thought I was just ahead. Which I wasn't. Well, I am now. Yay! One week to go and I'm knackered. But I didn't want to go to bed with another deficit. Now I'm ahead again, even if it's not by much. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 20

Word count: 31,700 (31,751 validated)
Target word count: 33,340
Days to go: 10

Gah.

I was behind yesterday, and I knew that. I didn't go to bed until it was like 01:45 because I was busy writing and it was flowing pretty okay. Wrote 2904 words last night... and I wrote it down on the wrong date in my notebook. I was really happy about it too, because I had gone from a 1023 word deficit to a 209 lead. Until I tonight realised that I had missed to write on one night, so instead, I had put down day 19's word count on day 18, where the target was 30,006 words. Those 209 words I was ahead was in fact a 1458 deficit. D'OH!!

Didn't get around to write that much at work, so I'm finishing tonight with a 1640 deficit. :( But hopefully, I'll be able to write loads next week, as I should be free again then.

It's just a lot easier to write about a lighthearted conversation with a stone than it is to write about a more serious conversation with a water spirit. Sigh. Hopefully I'll have more time to write tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Raindrops keep falling on my head

If I manage to write a bit tonight, I will come back with a Day 19 NaNo update. If I don't, I'm busy writing. I'm almost 2700 in debt counting today. :/

Anyhoo.

First snow!

Yesterday, we were going out to see Bill Bailey in town. As we got out of the house, we weren't sure if it was raining or snowing, but as we drove into town, it became quite clear. It was snowing! :D Nothing that stuck to the ground, unfortunately, but still, snow! As it was quite chaotic around the Ice Centre - sorry, the Nottingham Arena - we had to park up at Victoria Centre and then walk down. It was very cold and very wet. But hey, it was the first snow of this season! Snow!

Tinselworm

While waiting for the show to begin (we were in section 15), some people were throwing paper planes over the audience. Some of them flew quite impressively and got applauded by the people who had seen it. One had a great flight and was brilliantly caught by one of the yellow-shirted staff, which got both applauded and cheered. :)

The show was brilliant. We've been watching Bill Bailey on TV for years (Black Books, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and so on) and thought it would be great to see a live show with him. When we drove past the Notts Arena a few months ago, I saw it said "BILL BAILEY: TINSELWORM" and November, so I phoned up and booked tickets.

The performance on the 17th was sold out, and there weren't that many spaces free on the 18th. He's a popular comedian and can certanly draw a crowd! And not without reason! He's a very funny guy with a very funny show. Not quite sure why the tour is called "Tinselworm", but that's by-the-by. It's kind of ADD safe comedy, because it changes very quickly. One minute he's talking, the next he's playing one of his many instruments and/or singing! He made us all do a Mexican wave as well.

Anyway, it's an ace show. Go and see it if you can. :)

Why does it always rain on me?

This morning, when we were going to work, had to stop by at the Mercedes/Smart dealership again... because it had rained in again, and it was a very big (and very wet) stain this time... and it was supposed to have been fixed months ago. We couldn't get a courtesy car until the end of the week, so we'll have to wait until then to get it fixed. As we didn't want to just leave and have it dry out and them to (again) say "we can't replicate the problem", we asked for one of the mechanics to come out and have a look at it. It was a very nice man, who had a good look, and as there was some slight dampness felt on the ceiling at the back, and you could see a stain there (not as clear as on the seats because it's a different fabric).

It seems the whole roof has to come off and be re-sealed! It's not a major job, because... well, let's be honest here, Smart make very cheap cars. Most of the body is plastic - which made it a bit interesting to try and place our magnetic L-plates the first time... To put one on the hatch at the back was fine, it's metal, but at the front... not so much. Anyway. The roof is attached by some kind of sealant... pretty much. And that's what seems to be the problem, because if it had been coming in through the windows, the doors would be stained, which they aren't.

I remembered to ask about disabling the child lock on the back doors, which he did in a jiffy. It was surprisingly easy - you just had to put the key in a hole on the door and turn it and hey presto. Yet we couldn't find how to do it in the manual! The good thing is, now people can sit in the back and they can open the doors themselves. Before, we've had to get out and open them, because of the child lock!

He was also going to replace some seals around one of the back doors, as it seemed a bit dodgy. Good thing that car is still under manufacturer's warranty! Although this time, fingers crossed, the problem will actually be sorted once and for all. Let's hope so. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 16

Word count: 26,864 (26,912 validated)
Target word count: 26,672
Days to go: 14

Feeling quite stressed at the moment, and I am working all next week... After that, hopefully I can go back to my normal routine and actually get more writing done.

Well, at least I made sure I was on plus before finishing for the night.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The ULTIMATE Italian pizza

Even though I have a tendency to point out the limits of the pizza toppings in Britain, and praise the tastiness and variety of Swedish pizzas (only Swedes would put Bearnaise sauce on their pizzas... Swedish folk have a bizarre obsession with that sauce!)... but I must admit that I have never seen a Swedish pizza with a spaghetti bolognese topping. Sure, there are plenty with the bolognese sauce... none that feature the actual spaghetti as well!

The first time I came across it was in Koblenz (in Germany - go look it up). It was December 2001, after the Modern Talking fanclubparty, and we wanted to go somewhere to eat. We settled on the restaurant next to Hotel Höhmann on Bahnhofsplatz, where on the menu they had "Spaghetti Pizza". It was so crazy I just had to have one! A pizza with spaghetti on - the ultimate Italian pizza, surely! Very tasty it was too. Incidentally, this was a restaurant which had a menu in English, which was a nice touch.

And today, a pizzeria in Beeston sported one on their menu! Of course, I had to try it! I think the one I had in Koblenz had a bit more meat in the sauce, but it was still quite nice. :) More people should try spag bol pizzas. Maybe I should make one if we have some left over spag bol next time!

Oh, and this has taken some time to write, because trying to find out the name of the hotel, I ended up joining TripAdvisor.com ...and spent some time writing a few hotel reviews. :look

As I still don't know when we'll be getting home tonight, I'll go back to writing my novel. Only written 375 words today, and I want to have a lot more done until tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 14

Word count: 25,406 (25,452 validated)
Target word count: 23,338
Days to go: 16

Have broken through the half-way mark! :D And that was my goal for today. Was like 3000 ahead from last night, so can afford to only write 1096 words today. The validator's word count keeps increasing - today it's +46. As long as it doesn't go into minus, I'll be well pleased.

I could be writing more tonight, but will opt for going to bed instead. I have left it at a point where it should be fairly easy to pick back up the story again tomorrow. NaNo actually feels completely doable this year. W00t!

CSS is my new best friend

I'm learning more and more about CSS. Today I have made some templates for this blog, for instance. :) I started out with a Christmas one, now I have three. They all use the same code, pretty much, so layout is the same. The difference is colour scheme and images. I thought I'd make one that's appropriate for the season, so I made one called "Rants & November Raves". Which would be the one you can see now. Tell me you like it. :P Will be switching over to the Xmas one in December.

Not written a terrible lot today, but I was 3000+ words ahead yesterday, so all's well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Word count tips & tricks

Here's my list so far:

  • write out numbers, just in case the validators don't like 'em ("twenty" instead of "20")
  • no apostrophe shortenings ("do not" instead of "don't", "I am" instead of "I'm")
  • long names ("Delacroix" is one word - "de la Croix" is three! ;))
  • chapter titles (instead of "Chapter One", it could be "Chapter One: Once upon a time or This is where the story begins")
  • ramble - you can make the text and sentences look all pretty in the editing stages instead
  • use more words than you need, such as a "death cloak" can be a "cloak of death", and someone who's "pregnant" is instead "with child" (okay, that one works best if your story is set in the past)

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 12

Word count: 22,225
Target word count: 20,004
Days to go: 18

Today has been a good day for writing. 4293 words in total, flowed very well. :) And I liked writing it as well. Now I have to find eight or so other past life memories to build on. But this one worked out pretty well... although it was "inspired by", I would say, rather than built on what actually happened. Or at least so I think. Haven't really researched that particular one properly.

But hey, I got over the deficit from yesterday, and added a nice lead, so that's good. And I've gone over the 20k mark and am heading toward the mid-point. Timewise, mid-point is in a couple of days, so... hopefully I'll beat it ahead of time.

In other news, finally received my CSS book today. Yay!

Monday, November 12, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 11

Word count: 17,932
Target word count: 18,337
Days to go: 19

Welcome to week two, also known as the "oh shit" week. I get what they mean by that. Lagging behind for the first time now. Mainly because I didn't end up writing anything last night and because of that, I was only 22 words ahead from what I had written on day 9. On the plus side, the official word count validator is now online.

Here's a comparison:

Microsoft Word: 16,692 words
OpenOffice Writer: 16,703 words
NaNo validator: 16,718 words

See? +26 words from the program I'm writing it in! Me likes the validator! :D

Also, I seem to have come up with a better working title than "Moo". Behold:

The Phantom Crystal

Even though I'm behind, I have to finish for tonight. My head hurts and I have work in the morning.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 7

Word count: 13,573
Target word count: 11,669
Days to go: 23
Chapters: 5
Characters: 4

All the main characters, at least the ones I planned to begin with, have now been transported to Moo Moo Land. The boys have met each other, as have the girls, and they are heading in each other's direction so they can all meet.

I'm quite amazed at the word count, to be honest. I mean... When I wrote the story for "Acting Out", it only came to 12,574 words. Not the original story I wrote down on paper in December of 2003, but the one where I had added scenes and descriptions while typing it down on a computer. 12.5k words from beginning to end, and I was a bit stuck as to what to fill it out with, as it was way too short for anything. It was turned into a screenplay (see blog entries for June 2007) for Script Frenzy, totalling 20,064 words.

And here I am, with a story written (realistically) in less time, but with more words. And it has almost not even started yet! Oh yes, not to mention the fact that I've been busy away from home all week as well.

I suppose, as this is day 7, tomorrow it'll be the dreaded Second Week, which I've heard so much about. We'll see how that goes. Hopefully, it will be well and I'll march along fine. :)

Tricks of the trade: Abolish any two-word combinations shortened with an apostrophe! Why write "don't" or "I'm" or "isn't" when you can write the same thing in twice the amount of words? "Do not", "I am" and "is not" is a handy way of getting free words! Also, don't write numbers unless you have to. Someone who is 10 years old can be "ten years old" instead, ensuring the number is counted by both your own word processor as well as the NaNo validator.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 3

Word count: 9042
Target word count: 5001
Days to go: 27
Chapters: 3
Characters: 3

Apparently, they all find some piece of jewellery, and hey presto - Narnia. Except it still isn't Narnia, but I have yet to come up with a name. Actually, that's a lie. I do have a name. I had a name for it before I even started writing! I just won't tell you that name. But that's where they've gone to. Two down, two to go! Although I'm currently writing one of those, I might just leave her disappearing until tomorrow or so. Glad I didn't leave the cat on the beach. Even if they come back and it's the same time as they left, I still don't like the thought of leaving her stranded all by herself like that. Better to do it when they're both safely at home.

The first chapter is by far the longest one (12 pages compared with 3 and 5). Mainly because that's where most of the talking has been done and also, it's heavily drawn on memories of events and places (namely: Båstad, disguised as an unnamed small seaside village in England somewhere). Oh well, first draft is a first draft. It's not supposed to be very good, and lemme tell you this right now - it sure ain't! It's something that can be sorted out at a later date. Post-NaNo.

Was gonna go to the meetup at the Maltcross today, but didn't want to spread my germs, as they've spread enough already. Still having a bloody cold... sigh.

The book No Plot? No Problem! (by Chris Baty, NaNo founder) suggested putting on a hat or something to put yourself into a "writing mood", so my hat of choice is my Indigo movie baseball cap. I don't wear baseball caps very often, and hey, if I have one that says "Indigo", from the movie with the same name (the less said about it the better), and I'm writing about a bunch of Indigos... makes sense.

Good night.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

NaNoWriMo 2007 - Day 2

Day 2
Word count: 5111
Target word count: 3334
Days to go: 28

Novel: "Moo" (working title)
Category: Religious, Spiritual & New Age

It's a story about a bunch of Indigos who end up in a different world, where they learn stuff about themselves and the world. A little bit like Narnia, but without Jesus and turkish delight. Actually, a lot different from Narnia. The only similarity is the whole "ending up in a different world" bit. I think the "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Philip Pullman is a closer comparison, and it's still not the same thing. I suppose if you mix Narnia and His Dark Materials with "The Celestine Prophecy" (James Redfield) and "Conversations With God" (Neale Donald Walsh), you're getting there. Kind of. I don't know, so far I've only written about a girl who discovers there's more to her cat than cuteness and a boy who eats chips. The other world is pretty far away yet. Plus I still need to figure out how they get there.