Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Tag: twitter

Postcards from the Last Six Months

I spent most of this afternoon sorting through the gigantic pile of postcards that I had accumulated for the past six months. I have a system for sorting–first I sort by size. This makes it easier for me to put protective plastic sleeves on them without switching between different sizes with every other one. Then I sort them again by country and file them accordingly in boxes. Below, I’ve documented some of my progress. (This is also in a Twitter thread.)

The stack:

Austria:

Australia:

Belgium:

Belarus:

Brazil:

Canada:

China:

Czech Republic:

Estonia:

Finland:

France:

Germany:

Great Britain:

Hong Kong:

Hungary:

Indonesia:

Ireland:

Israel:

Italy:

Japan:

Lithuania:

Luxembourg:

Macau:

Netherlands:

Norway:

Poland:

Portugal:

Russia:

Spain:

Switzerland:

Taiwan:

Ukraine:

USA:

KonMari-ing the Library and Other Blasphemous Things

When I first read about the controversy on Marie Kondo’s advice to throw out all your books that don’t bring you joy, my first thought was a cynical one–that this was promoted to generate buzz on her new show on Netflix. One must admit, the timing of the controversy and its availability on the streaming service was a little suspect.

I had heard of Kondo’s book when it first came out a couple years ago, but I paid it little mind, assuming that it was just one of many offshoots of the current minimalist trend. I didn’t need to read about something that I already quasi-practiced. I’m more on the pro-minimalist side of things, but this is about half due to necessity–I’ve moved around a lot and discovered that having too much stuff to move around is just a pain in the ass. Philosophically, I don’t attach too much of myself to things. I’m more of an idea person. So basically moving everything online–communications, writing, reading, research, entertainment–wasn’t a difficult transition for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why people have an emotional attachment to things. There’s history behind those objects–and I think for some people it’s easier to keep those things around than to try to capture those feelings into words, photos, and three dimensional schematics and upload those documents into the cloud. If people don’t want to throw X, Y, and Z out even though they take up quite a bit of room, I wouldn’t really care as long as they don’t try to store X, Y, and Z at my place.

Anyways, after thinking about this some more, I find it hard to get worked up about this. I don’t really agree with Kondo’s methods (Why throw something out because it doesn’t bring joy? Why not use utility or some other quantifiable method as a criteria for throwing things out?), but I don’t see why I should use up so much emotional energy getting worked up about her notions on throwing books away when she’s not physically coming into my home to toss stuff out. (Although judging from some parody tweets on Twitter, maybe she is.) I think what’s really happening is that marketing a certain aspirational lifestyle that has its origins in one culture is clashing directly with the lifestyle philosophy of a different culture.

So why am I framing it as a clash of cultures? Well, take Kondo, for instance. Her methods are very much rooted in Japanese style and the way she advocates throwing things out harks back to the animist beliefs that still pervade the country. From her Wikipedia page, she made a statement to the effect that she sort of had a religious experience that set her on the path of becoming an organizational guru. In light of that, I think she’s fashioned herself into an organizational Joan of Arc, saving people from being besieged by their own stuff. Only instead of being burned at the stake for her heretical notions about books, she’s being pilloried on Twitter.

I also want to note that it’s individual books that are considered and then tossed if they don’t bring joy. For people who are outraged at this notion, it’s not so much that the books are individual, but they are part of a greater whole–the personal library. If you subscribe to the personal library as an entire entity, tossing books out is akin to, say, chopping a tail off a pet cat because you reason that the tail is not essential in keeping the cat alive and why not amputate because that would save space. But we all instinctively know that that is inhumane.

Books are also not just about joy. They bring all sorts of emotions because writers try to capture the totality of the human experience in words. So if you are throwing out everything except the joyful books, aren’t you metaphorically cutting off all your emotions except the happy ones? (It does not escape my notice that Japanese society is also a lot more conformist than others. Many emotions are hidden–to the detriment to mental health–in order to avoid conflict and to keep everything in harmony.)

For some strange reason, this whole thing reminded me of one of the books in Jayne Castle’s St. Helens trilogy which were futuristic romances written in the late 1990s before the whole paranormal romance thing blew up and took over bookstores. The conceit of these books is that human colonists landed on some weird planets (that somehow bear an uncanny resemblance to the late 20th century Pacific Northwest) and over time, developed psychic abilities or talents. In one of the books, the villain turned out to be this lady who had the talent to organize everything. Her downfall was that she was too obsessively organized. Anyways, the point of that digression is that it’s probably okay not to be perfectly tidy. Do what works for you. And if people are pushing some method or another, well, just assume they’re trying to take over the world. Or at least make a cash grab.

No Accomplishment Is Your Own

So, I recently came across this tweet on my Twitter timeline. It caused some outrage and controversy. So I went on this person’s profile page to figure out if I could get any context from the rest of the tweets. Unfortunately, I failed on that part. All I could figure out was that this person is a writer and a comedian and they went to Harvard at some point. Considering that this person makes a living in trying to be funny, I wasn’t sure if this tweet was a serious statement or her trying to be funny. Maybe it was both. Since I’m not sure what her intent was, I sort of find it as a failure on her part as a writer to try to convey her true intent.

Anyways, the replies to that tweet fell into two camps: 1) People who assumed that the author of the tweet aimed to skewer rich, privileged young people who boast about their accomplishments when it was in fact their parents’ money that funded everything, and 2) people who felt that they were being kicked while being down because the author did not explicitly state it was rich, privileged young people that she was talking about. Her statement was vague and could be easily interpreted to mean that it included EVERY person who was living at home with their parents, lumping in both the wealthy leeches with the poor, disabled, and others who live with their parents out of necessity.

And what do I think of this? Well, I think figuring out who pays the rent is besides the point of what constitutes a “real” accomplishment. And I’m speaking as someone who has paid my own rent ever since grad school (I lived in dorms as an undergrad and my college education was funded through scholarships). Accomplishments don’t appear from out of a vacuum. They get done from support of a lot of people: parents, yes, but also other relatives, friends, teachers, mentors, other people who believe in you, supporting organizations, networks, and sometimes just pure luck. Just because a smart, hardworking person also happens to be living with someone else who pays their rent doesn’t make them any less smart or hardworking.

I can, perhaps, make an educated guess as to where the tweet’s author was coming from. As the child of immigrant parents who managed to make it into Harvard and then into some high profile gigs–it’s probably easy to assume that she made it to where she is due to her own efforts. In fact, one might assume that I might be one of the most likely people to take her view because I’m also the child of immigrant parents who attended prestigious universities and now making it professionally in one of the most expensive parts of the country. However, I am also acutely aware that where I went to school also helped open doors that might not have been available to me otherwise. Yes, I did all the work, but someone has to open those doors, too. I suspect that all of her accomplishments would have been a lot more difficult to do if she had not had the network available to her simply by attending Harvard (and all the circumstances leading up to her getting accepted there).

So, one could argue that having any accomplishments is a mix of work and circumstance. And in this case, the “circumstance” is the sticking point. As the old saying goes, we all stand on the shoulder of giants. And regardless of who’s supplying the money and the opportunities and the moral support, perhaps we should all apply some humility when describing our own accomplishments rather than stomping on other people while trying to validate ourselves.

Selections from SFMOMA

I recently went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I’ve always wanted to go there but had never had the time before. It’s one of those places where you just know that devoting anything less than an entire day is a shame.

Below, I’ve included photos of a couple works at the SFMOMA that I particularly liked. There are also additional photographs on my Twitter feed. There’s currently a Matisse/Diebenkorn exhibit as well, but no photos were permitted for that one. Despite the crowds, it was really fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone planning to go there between now and May. (Well…almost everyone. I overheard one guy who didn’t like it. So if you don’t appreciate twentieth century expressionism and abstract art, you might not want to waste your money on an admission ticket.)

I will admit that when I first encountered modern art, I didn’t really understand it. I still don’t understand half of it. But I’ve grown to appreciate it and find it more as a jumping off point for an artist’s philosophy–what they want to say, what they’re not saying, and whether they mean anything at all.

2016 NaNoWordSprints Statistics

Here they are, the statistics for @NaNoWordSprints for the curious. If there are any requests for particular stats, let me know in the comments. I may include them in my next analysis (probably next year).

slide1 slide2 slide3 slide4 slide5 slide6

Some Thoughts on NaNoWriMo 2014

Writing this year’s NaNoWriMo novel was probably one of the most difficult novels I’ve written. Originally, I had challenged myself to write a historical fantasy novel by the seat of my pants, but after Day 1, I knew that was pretty much a disaster. Unless I had a Ph.D. in Venetian history (which I obviously don’t), that novel was not going to happen this year without me taking time out to do some research.

So on Day 2, I scrapped that idea and decided to do an urban fantasy set in San Diego. Theoretically it would be a no brainer. It would be set in present day in a place that I live. I could throw in unicorns and dragons and magic–basically everything and the kitchen sink–without worrying about reality. No research necessary. Unfortunately, I had a different set of problems. I had no idea who my characters were, what they were going to do, and where everything was headed. Basically it was the writing equivalent of flying blind.

I definitely learned something from this experience. I cannot purely pants a story. My brain simply doesn’t work that way. Next year, I’m going back to planning.

* * *

This year I also transferred regions as a municipal liaison. As the new person in town and put into a position of “authority” (I wasn’t really the authority of anything–mostly an organizer) there was definitely a feeling of uncertainty there on what the region would be expecting of me and what I would learn about the region. There was also already an established ML in San Diego so I had to be fairly careful that when I advocated new ideas, they didn’t trample on already rooted regional traditions.

Some of the ideas worked. Some didn’t. When things didn’t work, of course, I’m a bit annoyed at first. But I don’t dwell on those things too much. There’s always more new ideas to try out next year. I guess that’s the advantage of being an experienced ML with a laid back attitude–you don’t take things personally when things don’t pan out.

I already have some ideas on how to improve next year, attendance-wise at least. I also want to increase the diversity of the participation, but I’m not sure how to go about doing that. Oh, don’t get me wrong. The wrimos I’ve met are all wonderful people. But I want more people, from all walks of life, to participate. Unfortunately, I think achieving this may take more effort than I have time for.

* * *

Leading word sprints on @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter was theoretically a huge time sink, but I was able to multitask a bunch of things while doing that at the same time. This November, compared to previous years and Camp NaNo, I’ve noticed more people voicing their displeasure with certain prompts or prompt themes. During the last couple of days, I’ve also noticed some people constantly tweeting at the account in an attempt to get noticed. The rest of the month, people were tweeting questions that could have been answered readily at the Reference Desk on the NaNo forums. My guess is that either they were impatient, desperate for a retweet from the sprints account, or both. And then there were the people who kept retweeting every single thing on the sprints account and drowning out legitimate replies on the notifications feed.

But those are minor annoyances. I think what keeps people coming back to be sprint leaders is the high you get when you help someone achieve their word count goals. I managed to do at least one sprint session every day. How many of my prompts ended up in someone’s NaNo novel? Who knows. But it is kind of funny to speculate that perhaps one of my prompts ended up in a future best selling novel.

NaNoWriMo Is Drawing Nigh

Well, this is just a brief post to let everyone know that I’m still here. I’ve been busy “preparing” for NaNoWriMo, as in organizing writing events around the city. I haven’t really had much time to think about what I’m going to write, although at the time of this writing, I only have four more hours until November hits. I guess I’m going to write by the seat of my pants this year. I’m probably going to crash and burn, but hey, that’ll make a nice (virtual) bonfire. I’m also writing live on Google Docs here and doing @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter. So basically this upcoming month will just be work, NaNoWriMo, and sleep (maybe). Yeah, it seems totally crazy to do all this in one go, but as this is now my fourteenth year doing this, I can’t really imagine myself not doing this annual creative insanity.

The Wombat Transcripts and the Deconstruction of a Word Sprint

Someone back in November requested that all the wombat word sprint tweets from @NaNoWordSprints be collected somewhere so they could read the whole story. I promised I would do that after November, so here are the sessions where the wombat featured as a main character.

Anyways, without further ado, the transcripts!

* * *

Birthdays (November 11, 9:30am-11:00am)

Time Tweet
9:30 **squeak squeak squeak squeak**
Darn it, what sort of surprise is it going to be if the wheels of this cart keeps squealing?
**A giant cake comes into view. @syaffolee is pushing the cart. Something is strapped to her back. A flamethrower?!**
Hey everyone! How’s it crackin’? Let’s first give @serenalawless a huge thank you for those wonderful sprints in the previous session!
All right, let’s get down to it. Warmup sprint :35-:50. (Optional) birthday prompts: cake, bad singing, ice cream, party hats, candles
9:34 One minute to go! Get ready for sprinting time!
9:35 And GO! Write write write, and let’s see how many words we can cram into 10 minutes!
9:48 This is your TWO MINUTE REMINDER. Keep going!
9:50 And TIME! How’d you do? Did you manage to include any of the prompt words?
Thank you for all the “happy birthdays” everyone! You guys are totally the best. :’)
This time I’ll get the math right. :) Next we’re doing a 30 minute sprint from :55 to :25. You can do a #1k30min challenge if you’d like.
Suggested prompt words: guests, clowns, magician, dinner, invitations
9:54 One minute until it’s time to rock the sprint! Get ready!
9:55 And WRITE WRITE WRITE! I hope to see some awesome word counts after this no matter what your goals are!
10:10 This is your halfway point reminder! Keep writing!
10:20 FIVE MORE MINUTES. Go go go!
10:25 And…STOP! Whew! How’d you do on that long one? Did you make your goals? What’s your favorite line so far?
Next sprint is :30-:40. Certain birthdays (depending on culture) have coming of age ceremonies/traditions associated with them.
Your optional prompts: coming of age, sweet sixteen, debut, majority, thread (from the Hindu thread ceremony on the 12/13th birthday)
10:29 Are you ready? Sprinting time is in one minute!
10:30 And GO GO GO! Write like the wind and I’ll see you back in 10 minutes!
10:38 TWO MINUTES LEFT! Keep going!
10:40 And STOP! How’d you do? Anyone include the prompts? Any life changing things happen to your characters in the meantime?
All right, one more from me. Let’s go :45 to :55. Maybe it’s not your birthday today. But we can celebrate unbirthdays, too!
Optional prompts for next sprint (with apologies to Lewis Carroll): mad, tea, rabbit/hare, dormouse, mercury poisoning
10:44 One minute until sprinting time! Get ready!
10:45 And GO! Get cracking on those words and I’ll see you back at :55!
10:53 You have TWO MINUTES LEFT. Break all limits and speed ahead!
10:55 And TIME! Did you beat your word count from the previous sprint? What’s the last word you wrote?
**The cake on the cart starts shaking on  its own. It EXPLODES sending cake and frosting EVERYWHERE.**
RRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
**A giant mutant WOMBAT leaps out of the cake’s corpse and storms out the door.**
Awesome sprinting with you guys! @sushimustwrite will be with your for the next hour of sprints, hopefully with some less dangerous food!
**Despite being covered in cake, @syaffolee prepares the flamethrower. And runs after the monster.**
**Flickering flames curl from the doorway. SCREAMS. Hopefully that’s the wombat and not bystanders.**

* * *

Chase scene tropes (November 13, 9:00pm-12:00am)

Time Tweet
9:00 **A monster WOMBAT busts into a neighborhood pet shop and gobbles plot bunnies left and right.**
**But then it roars off through a back exit just as @syaffolee skates in on roller blades carrying several tranquilizer guns.**
The flamethrower didn’t work, guys. Anyways, let’s give @honeyelle a huge thank you for the previous wonderful sprints!
While I chase down this sucker, let’s do a warmup sprint from :05-:15. Prompt: blind alley. [Theme for this session is chase scene tropes.]
9:04 One minute until sprint time! If I can corner the wombat in a blind alley, getting it will be a piece of cake.
9:05 And it’s time to GO! Get writing, wrimos, and I’ll see you back at :15! **Your sprint leader skates out the back door.**
9:13 This is your TWO MINUTE REMINDER. Keep writing!
9:15 And STOP! How many words did you manage to cram in the past 10 minutes?
Shoot. I think I lost it in this crowd. Excuse me! Oof! Hey, watch it buster!
All right, next sprint will be from :20 to :50. Your optional prompt: something or someone gets lost in a crowd.
For those of you who like an extra challenge, let’s go for the #1k30min!
9:19 Phew! It seems like that crowd is off to see the latest boy band concert or something. There’s one minute til sprinting time!
9:20 HEY! I think I see it heading towards an apartment building! GO GO GO, you guys! Write like you’re on fire!
9:35 This is your halfway point reminder. Keep writing!
9:45 FIVE MINUTES TO GO. Break all limits and keep going!
9:50 And TIME! How’d you do this time? Let me know your favorite line so far.
**The monster WOMBAT has started climbing up the apartment building. Your sprint leader races inside.**
Next sprint is at :00-:10. Prompt: Include an elevator. And yes, even grain elevators count. Especially if they burst into flames.
You can use this extra time for #NaGoBaTi or backing up your novels!
9:58 **Jabs elevator button. Nothing happens.** Man, isn’t this typical. I’m going to take the stairs.
9:59 **Your sprint leader takes off her roller blades to get up the stairs.** One more minute guys, and then it’s sprinting time!
10:00 And WRITE WRITE WRITE! Write like the wind and I’ll see you back in 10 minutes!
10:05 FIVE MINUTE WARNING. **pant pant pant** Hey, I finally made it to the roof! And there’s the wombat!
10:09 **With ONE MINUTE TO GO, the wombat ROARS angrily. Your sprint leader pulls out a tranq, takes aim, and… **
10:10 BANG! **The monster wombat reels, stumbles, and falls off the edge of the roof!** So, how’d everyone do during the sprint?
You guys are doing so awesome with your word counts! Now let me get back down there and get that put back in a cage.
**But when your sprint leader gets back to ground level, the wombat has woken up and overturned a fruit stand while getting away!**
ARG. This is frustrating. Okay, your next sprint is from :15-:30. Prompt: Include fruit and/or fruit related stuff.
10:14 Are you ready? We have one minute until sprint time! **Your sprint leader puts her roller blades back on.**
10:15 And GO GO GO! Get writing and I’ll see you back at :30! **And squishes several kumquats on her way to catch the wombat.**
10:25 FIVE MINUTES LEFT. Keep going! (Darn it! I think I see that wombat heading straight to the carnival!)
10:30 And STOP! Did you do the prompt? Even if you didn’t, let me know your latest line.
Next sprint, :35-:55. Your optional prompt: mirrors/reflections.
Because I’d have a horrible time getting that wombat if it wanders into an attraction like the Hall of Mirrors.
10:34 One minute to go! I hope you’re ready!
10:35 And GET WRITING! I hope to see some awesome word counts when we meet back in 20 minutes!
10:50 This is your FIVE MINUTE WARNING. Keep going!
10:55 And TIME! Did you meet your word count goals?
**There’s shouting. Clowns run out of a nearby carnival tent.** Aha! That’s where the wombat went!
Let’s do another 30 min sprint (#1k30min challenge). :00-:30. Prompt: Crashing through stuff.
10:59 One minute to go! Get ready!
11:00 And HERE WE GO! Get writing and I’ll see you back in 30 minutes!
11:15 Halfway point! Keep going! I want to see awesome word counts from all of you!
11:25 FIVE MORE MINUTES. GO GO GO!
11:30 And stop! How did it go for everyone? Did you make your goals?
Look, there it goes! **The monster wombat barrels through several people. Bystanders fall down with cries of pain.**
Oh man, that’s not good. Next sprint :40-55. Use your time wisely! (#NaGoBaTi, hinthint)
Prompt will be sprained ankles and broken heels. (Or injuries in general.)
11:39 One minute to go! Are you ready?
11:40 And WRITE WRITE WRITE! I’ll see you back in 15 minutes!
11:50 FIVE MINUTE REMINDER. Keep going!
11:55 And…STOP! How’d you do? Did any of your characters suddenly find themselves in a world of pain?
It’s been a pleasure sprinting with all of you! Keep on trucking and remember to backup your novels!
Your next sprint leader @writingfreak88 will be here shortly with some more sprints. For me, it’s ta-ta for now!
** @syaffolee skates off to find the wombat at the circus and narrowly misses being stomped on by a frightened elephant. **

The wombat also appeared as a minor character in the sprint sessions inspired by The Matrix, noir films, Moby Dick, and The Call of Cthulhu (as a statue). If anyone wants those tweet transcripts posted, just drop me a note!

* * *

For those of you interested in learning the fine art of word sprinting in order to hold your own on Twitter, the following is some uber geeky meta analysis on how I construct a word sprint session. But like writing novels, there are no firm rules for word sprinting, so I’m mostly talking about my own method and style (which can at times be manic, wild, and all OMGWTFBBQ–the complete opposite to how I usually am with other things). I am by no means an expert. Many of the other sprint leaders on @NaNoWordSprints have more experience than me on how to do this. I personally enjoy following the sessions of the other sprint leaders because the very fact that they have different sprint styles is inspiring.

The bare bones of a sprint consist of a start tweet and a stop tweet. One could argue that a sprint could consist of a single tweet with an announcement of when a sprint starts and how long it would be, but often writers get carried away once they get going so I’d say a stop tweet would be highly recommended, if not necessary. Once you’ve got the bones of a sprint, you can hang all sorts of additional tweets on the session, including reminder tweets (We’ve got TWO MINUTES TO GO!; Remember to back up your novel!), prompts (I try to always mention that they’re optional since some people hate them with a passion), and tweets of encouragement (You guys are doing AWESOME with your word count! Virtual cookies for everyone!).

Whether or not you want to include breaks in between sprints is also up to you, the sprint leader. Rolling sprints, or sprints without breaks, come in two different types–either a series of sprints strung together or a marathon sprint (typically one hour) cut up into several milestones. I usually include breaks because it gives sprinters a bit of time to regroup for the next sprint. And, of course, it gives me extra time to tell a frame story around the sprints if I happen to go that route.

Just like writing a novel, you can pants or plan a sprint session. While pantsing is fun, planning is far more practical–and probably gives me less headaches in the long run. I schedule and write most of my tweets beforehand (either on Excel or Notepad). This allows me to make sure that the important tweets get tweeted on time (believe me, there are time sticklers out there who think that being thirty seconds off is a cause for concern) and that everything is proofread (for those who can’t help but point out grammar and spelling mistakes because they couldn’t manage to get rid of their inner editor). It also allows me to space sprints appropriately to keep from accidentally running through another sprinter’s shift and to make sure I’m not tweeting too much–which would land me in “Twitter Jail.”

In October, I started coming up with a list of prompt themes I might want to use as inspiration for the optional prompts. NaNoWriMo itself has a sense of crazy whimsey to it–so when I pick prompt themes, that’s always in the back of my mind. Someone once asked me if I just pick these at random. I don’t. I choose them because they match the tone of NaNoWriMo, it’s a theme that is very popular with the active sprinters (I ended up doing Doctor Who again this year even though I said I wouldn’t repeat prompt themes), or it’s a theme that I personally love.

My track record on prompt themes is, admittedly, somewhat hit or miss. There were some successes (Doctor Who, the wombats and plot bunnies, and the prompt mashups). And then there were some duds (no one got The Call of Cthulhu parody and there were some prompts which some sprinters thought were too crazy to be tweeted by a sober person). At least it wasn’t as bad as last year’s My Little Pony sprint session which elicited some actively hostile reactions. At any rate, I do pay attention to other people’s reactions to the themes and I always keep that in mind when picking the theme for the next session.

But despite all the planning involved, there was a certain amount of last minute pantsing included, too. The sprint session The Fast and the Furious was completely pantsed on the spot. So were the first two Reports from the Plot Bunny Fanciers Convention (the third was written the hour before the session started) and one session I called Curiosities. A number of themes were chosen on the day of sprinting (especially during the last week). The sprint session during the Night of Writing Dangerously was originally intended as A View to a Kill parody with the wombat playing Max Zorin (hence my slightly enigmatic tweet about James Bond trivia), but I changed that at the last minute when I found out that the theme for NOWD was noir.

I’m not sure what themes I might do for next year if I’m invited to sprint again. Some themes could be really polarizing (Sailor Moon/Magical Girl) and others I’m 99% sure would be a success (Sherlock). I’ve also contemplated doing a session filled with participant-generated prompts or dueling with a fellow sprint leader (pistols at dawn like sloshed Regency gentlemen making bad decisions!), but who knows how well that would go. Anyways, I’ll probably start seriously thinking about this again next October.

Not Counting Down

Yep, NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. And mostly I’m trying not to think about the beginning of November because I have a kazillion things going on. And if I ponder deadlines too long, I’m going to drive myself mad.

I’ll probably be blogging rather sporadically here with short updates on my novel progress and archive writing prompts that I’ve tweeted on @NaNoWordSprints. Yes, I’ve been invited to be a sprint leader again this year. Apparently I didn’t scare anyone away last time. For those of you following the sprints, I’ll be starting the sprints at midnight for the Eastern, Central, and Mountain time zones on November 1. For the rest of the month, I’m currently scheduled for sprints every Monday through Saturday 10pm to midnight Mountain time and Sunday evenings (usually 8pm-10pm).

As for the novel itself, I’m trying something different this year in that I’m going to actually blog it. For the masochists who want to read along, my plot manglings will be posted here (also linked temporarily in the menu of this blog).

As a warning, I’ve been unusually scatterbrained this year in terms of novel planning. I only just found a name for my main character last Saturday. None of my other characters have names yet. Maybe when November hits, I’ll take my own advice I gave to someone recently and use a random name generator.

Mid-Month Update

Mostly, I’m posting this to see if this “sharing” thing to Twitter is going to work. But it’s also a brief update.

Camp NaNoWriMo is in full swing this month. As of this post, I’m up to 40k. The reason why I’m writing like crazy now and not pacing myself is because I’m trying to finish before I go on vacation. If I can’t get 10k done between now and Friday morning, I’ll probably keep writing while I’m waiting around in airports. Otherwise, well, I don’t plan on doing any fiction writing while on vacation.

I’ll probably do quite a bit of travel writing though. I don’t know if I’ll be able to post any of it while I’m abroad. It depends on whether or not there will be an internet connection around.

For those of you who follow my Twitter account, I’ve probably dropped enough hints in the last couple of months for you to know where I’m headed. And for those of you who have the sense to abstain from scouring through most of my (admittedly inane) tweets for the clues, I’ll leave my itinerary as a surprise.