Nano is done

At 7:21PM Eastern, I saved my 2007 Nano novel for the last time.  50,262 words, according to the word counting robots at the website.  I’m happier with it than I was before, but the plot is still kind of strange, and I think my characters are motivated more by wanting to advance the story than by any sort of realistically human motivations.  But that’s okay.

Now I can go back to my normal routine.  There are a bunch of things I thought of doing in November that I’ve had to put off.  Now I can not think of them again until next November, when I’ll remember that I said I would do them in December or January.

Anyway, it feels good to finish again.

2481 to go

410 words on the Metro this morning, and I’m almost at the end.  The 28th, today, is the latest I’ve ever hit 50,000.  And I don’t think I’ll make it today.  But I’m sure I will tomorrow. 

I’m a little disappointed that no one seems to notice me writing on the Metro.  Or maybe they do and just don’t say anything.  I guess people don’t talk much during rush hour.  But isn’t it weird?  Have you ever seen somone writing in a little notebook on the Metro?  I think that’s weird.  Of course, if I saw me writing on the Metro, I would look at me and think, ‘Hey, that guy’s kind of weird’.  Then I’d go back to reading or whatever I was doing.

Almost finished

Nanowrimo is quickly approaching its end.  And so is my novel.  The story is done, really.  I’m currently writing a completely gratuitous bar scene, where a nerdy-but-recently-famous blogger is being hit on by a beautiful-but-gold-digging girl.  It has nothing to do with advancing the plot, but it’s doing nicely to advance the word count.  I have about 2,800 words to go, and I expect to finish Thursday.  Tomorrow I’m going out, so I don’t think I can get that many words in.  But Thursday I have no plans.  Except probably watch “The Office”.  But I can do 2,800 words.

I’m debating whether to share the story when I’m done.  I was thinking of putting up a Creative Commons licensed text file and letting people do what they want.  I don’t think I’ll ever do anything more with the story. But maybe I should let the wife read it first, and make sure it’s okay to share.  I don’t think it’s very good.  It’s maybe a better story than last year’s, but not as good as 2002, 2003, or 2005.  And my 2005 story was about talking ducks and, squirrel concubines, and evil foxes.  So that may put this one in perspective.

I probably need to rethink my approach for Nano 2008.  My stories are getting worse.  I don’t think that’s really the intention.

I thought wed lose him to jail

ESPN – Redskins’ Taylor dies from injury in shooting – NFL

“I just take this job very seriously,” Taylor said in a rare group interview during training camp. “It’s almost like, you play a kid’s game for a king’s ransom. And if you don’t take it serious enough, eventually one day you’re going to say, ‘Oh, I could have done this, I could have done that.'”

I really do feel bad for his family and friends.  Who ever knows if everyone is just saying good things about him because he’s gone, but all the quotes from his teammates say he really was growing up now that he had a little girl.  All the personal fouls, the spitting on other players, the guns and DUIs, that was supposedly behind him.  I’d like to believe that. 

I’m afraid, though, that we’re going to find out that the guy came not to rob him, but intended the whole time to shoot him, and it was because of something that Taylor did.  The reports of burglary are too vague and don’t really sound plausible.  But I don’t know. 

I hope his 18-month-old daughter doesn’t remember this when she grows up.

Officially back on track

For the first time since November 7th, I am back on the Nanowrimo pace.  I just hit the 35,000 word mark, and things seem to be going well.  It’s been my experience, as a four-time Nano winner, that 40,000 is the magic number where the writing just comes out.  I want to say it all goes downhill, but I mean that in the sense of a river flowing, not the quality.  Once you hit 40,000 and your ‘words to go’ number is only four digits, it gets easier.  You can see the finish line, and it’s not that far away.  It just gets easier from there.

So I only need 5,000 more words to hit that mark, and then I might as well be done.  That’s encouraging.  The story is going sort of okay, I guess.  There are a lot of things I wanted to get into that I haven’t.  There’s one character who wasn’t important, and then she was, and now I have no idea what to do with her.  She’s stuck at her sister’s house, an invalid on the couch with a broken leg, and I haven’t the slightest clue how to get her involved in the story again.  My female main character is doing okay.  I feel that I’ve written a passable female character, believable but not very interesting.  I don’t think she’s a bad character, and I don’t think she’s a bad female character, but she isn’t very interesting.

Anyway, it feels good to be back on the pace.   Just in time to get behind again because of the holiday.

You know what, Kindle? No. Not buying you.

I really hope the Kindle is the iPod of books.  It could revolutionize the industry and open up all sorts of new business models.  But I’m not going to buy one.  My biggest problem is the restrictions put on free content.  I have a few books in PDF on my Ubuntu laptop.  I obtained these books legally, all downloaded with permission from the author.  Because the Kindle doesn’t work with Ubuntu and doesn’t read PDF, I don’t even know how I would get these books onto the Kindle.  And since reading free books I get online on something other than a computer screen is one of the primary reasons that I want an ebook reader, this is kind of a big deal.

I know the wife will be happy with this decision, because she thought I was crazy for wanting one in the first place.

I really hope that Amazon’s push in the industry brings about more competition.  Sony, as much as I loathe them, got things started with the first electronic ink ebook, and things have started to move more quickly since then.  Now that there’s another big player in the market, it seems reasonable that we’ll see big changes in the very near future.

So I hit 30,000 words

Finally.  Well, only a day late.  But I was 3,500 words behind on November 17th, which is the furthest back I’ve ever been.  This year has been tough.  I’m not sure exactly why.  The story is going slowly at the moment.  I don’t like this most recent chapter, and I may be writing myself into a corner.  But, then again, that’s what Nanowrimo is all about.

I’m currently just about a day behind.  That’s not a huge deal.  I can hopefully make that up by tomorrow or Wednesday.

The Kindle is here

So I’ve spent most of my morning reading everything I can find about the Kindle.  I mean, I’ve spent most of my morning working dilligently.  Yeah.

So, Amazon is going to charge for the books, charge for newspaper subscriptions, and charge for full-text blog feeds.  But they aren’t charging any extra for the network connection.

This is pretty cool.  There are some drawbacks.  It’s not as sexy as an iPhone, but that’s really not that big a deal for me.  It doesn’t seem to support PDF, which people had been saying it would, but it supports some ebook formats, plus Microsoft Word and HTML.  Some of the details are fuzzy.  I’m hearing that you can’t transfer your own content through the USB port, but not from anyone reliable.  I suppose you could always do it via SD card.

I think I’m going to have to buy one.