Monday, November 25, 2013

It's The Only Thing I've Ever Won...

And so it ends for another year.  I rolled past 50,000 words earlier this afternoon.  It's the fourth time I've "won" NaNoWriMo.  That means the stress that comes with trying to hit a word count goal everyday is gone.  Unfortunately, that does not mean I finished telling my story.  There's still a few chapters left to unspool.

I think this is the earliest I've won NaNo.  Now comes the hard part: deciding whether or not to finish the story.  By the time I hit 50k last year, I'd lost interest in my story completely.  This year, that isn't the case.  I've kinda developed a love for my protagonist and I wanna see what happens to him.  I think it's important for me to wrap things up.  This is the most excited I've been at this point in NaNo since the first year I did it.

As is customary, I usually thrown down with a list of things I learned over the course of November.  I' am a creature of habit, so this year will be no different.  This is the stuff I've learned from NaNoWriMo 2013:
  • Glasses are optional: I've always had a thing where I need to wear glasses to be able to write.  This year, though, I noticed that I was spending more and more time writing without glasses on.  And I don't feel my writing suffered for it.  Other things I did hurt my writing.  But not writing without wearing glasses.
  • Junk food is also optional: Junk food is also something that I felt I need to keep me going.  This is the first year I've tried to keep my crap food consumption down.  And you know what?  I didn't affect me all that much.
  • Friends are NOT optional: I write so much better when I have people around me that I can bounce ideas off of.  For example: I had a message I wanted to get into my story but couldn't figure out how to do it until I was whining about it to a friend and she made a suggestion.  It was an ingenious suggestion, and helped me find much-needed direction.  That's why writer friends are my favorites.
  • Netflix is the Devil: Holy time-suck, Batman!  That's really all that needs to be said about this.
  • Helping others helps yourself: Sometimes getting away from your story problems and helping someone else out of a jam re-aligns your thinking and helps you to work through your own story issues.  Therefore, giving of yourself returns back to you, most of the times, many times over.
  • Some problems are worth having: Writing can be a soul-crushing, dispiriting process, but when you get through your problem, it feels pretty damn cool.
  • I'm through writing about heavy metal.  Seriously: I love metal, but I feel like I'm painting myself into a corner.  I need to branch out and write some other stuff.  Stuff that isn't packed with pop culture references.  Stuff that isn't about a single thirty-something dude who's lonely and drifting through life.  And above all, I'm done writing about anything related to metal.  For now...
Anyhow, that's it for NaNoWriMo 2013.  It's been fun.  Now, it's time to chase some other goals.  Like fitting six dozen hot dogs in my mouth at the same time.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gimmie Back My Wig

I've been noticing the last little while that my hair is thinning.  I'm not Mr. Clean yet.  Not even really that close.  But I'm seeing more of my scalp than I really want to lately.  It was bound to happen sooner or later.  My mom's dad was fairly bald.  That's the indicator for male-pattern baldness, right?  Your mom's dad?

It's fairly depressing to think I'm gonna lose my hair before I've even conned a poor woman into marrying me.  It's sad to think I may have to start worrying about scalpburn during the summer.  And it's a little bit of a bum out to think that pretty soon I won't be able to whip my hair around in my face while headbanging.  So, to combat that, I've tried to come up with a list of reasons why losing my hair won't be so very bad.

  1. I can compensate for the lack of cranial hair by growing a truly bitchin' viking beard.
  2. I can beat nature to the punch by shaving my head, and apparently the ladies really dig the shave-headed look.
  3. Being bald will put a huge-ass dent in my shampoo expenses.
  4. Decreased drag coefficient.
  5. Professor X is bald and that guy controls peoples' minds.  I won't be able to do that.  I just wanna be included in the same group with Xavier.
  6. Two words: Yul Brynner
  7. Two more words: Telly Savalas
  8. Two more words: Bruce Willis
  9. Two more words: Jason Statham
  10. No more losing my combs to the monster who lives in my clothes dryer.
  11. I can get a tattoo on my skull and folks will actually be able to see it.
  12. Maybe I can even get a tattoo of a skull on my skull.  That would be bad ass.
  13. I could get a job as a bouncer.  Most of those dudes ain't got no hair, right?
  14. Steam rising off your head when it gets cold is pretty cool-looking.
  15. No more bed head.  Ever.
I'm sure there are other advantages to being bald, I'm just spacing on them right now.  Anyway, I'm just writing this because I spent all day writing for NaNoWriMo and now I'm really loopy.  I'll go get some rest and be back when there's more on my mind than hair.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

NaNoWriMo: Week 3 Update

Okay, so I'm just over 41,000 words.  I think I can be to 50k by Monday if I really work at it.  But, man, am I ever burned out.  And I've kinda lost my way, story-wise.  Now, I have a series of random, mess-up events instead of a story.  I guess that's what happens when you're writing to keep yourself entertained and not to tell a story.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NaNoWriMo Week 2: An Update

So, it's Week Two of NaNoWriMo and it's time to throw down a status update.  I went over 24,000 words, so that means I should be over halfway through by sometime tomorrow night.  I'm feeling pretty good about things.  No writing-derived depression, so far anyway.  And I've been on a roll lately, doubling my word count over the past three days.  Pretty awesome.

I've heard that writers are fairly narcissistic souls.  I can see why.  Three of the four NaNos I've participated in have included a stand-in for myself in the story.  Usually, my stand-in has been the protagonist.  I'm that self-absorbed.  This time, though, I've given myself broad-ranging permission to torture my stand-in.  And, damn, have I taken advantage.  Through the first half or so of my story, my poor protagonist has been chased by a junk yard dog, mistreated by an asshole concert merchandising guy, kidnapped by witches, and beaten up by a giant redneck hick.  And it's gonna get worse before it gets better.  There's still the emotional stuff to tackle.  But don't get too depressed, because (spoiler alert) he comes out of the story better than he went in. 

Monday, November 11, 2013


Well, after a brief and somewhat ill-advised trip to Wordpress, Stranded in Hickville has returned.  I wonder if this isn't a bit how the Israelites felt upon returning home after wandering the desert for decades.  Only less triumphant.  A bit.

How'd I come to the conclusion that I needed to come back?  Pretty simple really.  While I don't have a single bad thing to say about my experience with Wordpress, it was a bit depressing to know that for me to have the kind of flexibility I wanted, I needed to shell out the cash.  Since I don't make money off my blog, I didn't feel like it was appropriate to pay for control I knew I'd have if I were to use Blogger.

Secondly, and more importantly, I needed to escape.  You see, sometimes you run into people who, for no apparent reason, become obsessed with you.  The stalk you online and make you uncomfortable in general.  I remembered something Rufus said in Dogma: if your enemies know where to find you, then don't be there.  So, I came back here since my pursuer doesn't know about Hickville.  At least, I assume she doesn't know.

Unfortunately, I've been gone long enough that I've lost all my old posts, but that's okay.  There plenty of time to build up the posts again.  Plenty of time.  So thanks for stopping by, or coming back if that be the case.  Let's have some fun!!