Progress from the Fifth Week

by syaffolee

I’m sort of burned out from last week.  And frankly, I kind of feel bummed that my efforts came all to naught in the end.  I wrote like a demon until almost the zero hour (you can see my progress under “NaNo Stats” here).  And still, Coeur d’Alene beat my region.  I think it was a combination of complacency (another heroic participant wrote enough for eight and a half people so almost everyone else thought they didn’t have to write as much) and a sense of “it’s done, so I don’t have to do any more.”  Oh sure, our region did manage to beat another neighboring region in the word war, but I felt it was a rather empty victory.  Even though Pullman didn’t win the word war, they did, however, have more people cross the 50k finish line.

And I think, right there, is why despite my efforts at trying to making Nanowrimo an awesome event for everyone, I feel like such a failure as a municipal liaison.  It isn’t about how many words you can write in a day–it’s about actually completing the goal you’ve set for yourself.  There are, of course, people who have legitamitely tried to get to 50k and didn’t make it or those who’ve had real life stuff simply overwhelm them and that cannot be changed.  But then there are those who do not even try.

Some people view writing a novel like some sort of painful artistic endeavor.  They moan about only being able to write in certain locations or certain situations.  It can only be done one way, they think.  And when they get stuck only a few thousand words in, they give up.  And since no one is fawning over their writing skills like they’re the next Hemingway, they figure–what’s the point?  And don’t try again.  My philosophy as a municipal liaison is that I’m there to get people to finish their novels.  Get the work done!  I’m not here to give anyone (probably undeserving) praise.

I see other participants who’ve had crazy things happen to them in November like having babies, having relatives die, work exploding, real life imploding, falling in love, moving across the country, spiraling into depression, having health crises–and yet they manage to finish.  This makes me wonder why other people who have so much more free time and less stress in their lives don’t finish.  So yeah, I sometimes expect more out of people than I really should expect.  Then I get disappointed.  And grumble about it like a cranky old man.

After reaching 90k at the very end of the month, I did not write anything for an entire day.  However, since then, I have been making progress, albeit very slowly.  I’m so close to the end of the story that I feel that it would be kind of a shame to let it languish even before the year is out.

Here are two excerpts from Dining with Small Monsters for the curious:

From Part IXa:

I looked at the vial. A few centimeters away from my face, it finally came into focus. At first, the translator on my eye screen did not respond. But then it started working. The script wavered and then came back into focus in Galactic Standard. “Whale pheromones,” I read slowly.

“What the hell does that mean?” said George.

“I know! I know!” said Vik excitedly. “It means whale pheromones!”

Everyone glared at him.

“Pheromones,” he repeated. “You know, chemical cues. I’ve heard that a lot of cultures use these chemical cues, particularly sexual chemical cues extracted from a variety of animals, as perfumes. The point of it is, of course, to attract the opposite sex if you happen to swing that way. It seems to be pretty popular.”

“I have no use for whale pheromones,” George said as I handed him back the bottle. “No amount of perfume will make me attractive to anyone.”

“Don’t be so down, George,” said Annette. “You just haven’t found the perfect person yet.”

“Everyone says that,” the sensory technician said with a sigh.

From Part IXb:

“Oh for blue’s sake, I am not doing the fucking filming out there,” I pointed out. “I can do it just fine in here. I can maneuver the shuttle’s feeds and adjust for magnification…”

Mot stared at me. “Euphie, you’re coming out here with me. Or else.”

And that was why I ended up suiting up as well. As I attached my holographic recording equipment on my shoulder, the cyborg handed me my helmet.

“Make sure you attach the safety line,” he said. “You have no idea what may happen out there. No one’s been able to study the space whale in depth.”

“No kidding,” I replied.

The jerboa, which was sitting on a ledge along the shuttle wall, gave me an encouraging chirp.

You can read more here.