NaNoWriMo Eve

October 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Last week I did something a little silly. I signed up for NaNoWriMo, a challenge for people like myself who claim to be interested in writing yet seem to find daily excuses for not doing any.

By midnight November 30, for me to proudly call myself a “winner” of NaNoWriMo, I must have written 50,000 words (beginning tomorrow). This works out to around 1667 words per day, or around two and a half pages if you happen to use my default word settings (single spacing, Calibri font, size 11).

From what I can tell reading the forums (the NaNoWriMo brigade are my kind of people – super passionate about it and nerdy as hell, lovingly posting no end of nonsense online), it’s not necessarily about quality but more quantity. Editing of any kind is frowned upon, the idea is to line yourself up with November 30 and run like hell. If you’re happy with what you’ve done, there’s always December (or the rest of your life) to go back and craft that sucker into a real book.

I have an idea of what I’ll be writing about (it involves a musician – not based on anyone I know [at least not yet!] – who realises he is slowly going deaf), but not really any idea of how it’s going to unfurl. I don’t even have my character’s name yet, or a title for the work. (The website actually asks for a title up front, which I find difficult. I usually name my writing once it’s done and I can see what might fit.)

I concocted myriad excuses as to why I couldn’t do this in November (the main one being Angie and I are catering not one, but two yoga retreats during the month), but then realised that making up excuses was my own death sentence in the matter. I promptly logged on and signed up and ignored the cold sweat that broke out on my back.

So this is what I will be doing every day as of tomorrow. I will try to slot it into my daily circus which also includes a two hour yoga session (well, it incorporates some meditation and a shower), a one hour kickboxing drill session (with a run), time for reading, the ten hours or so of catering I’ll be doing for about 16 days of the month and other things like writing newsletters and doing some work around Jaspers. I could always cheat and just write anything at all to get to the 50,000 words but then, where’s the fun in that?

All fears aside, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it tomorrow. And with any luck I’ll at least have the guy’s name by then.

October 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

I don’t have a lot to say, but a need to say it.

I’m down in Sydney, virtually overnight again. The flash visits are fun and sometimes tiring, sometimes saddening. It’s long enough to take care of a few bits of business, see the family and just escape from home for a short period, but not long enough to visit friends without the visit turning into a chore. That’s not meant to sound horrible, but adding in a social visit means about two hours of driving and rushing and no down time, which is really my life at home most days. I think I need to start scheduling social visits that last a week. All I will do is come down and visit, and really enjoy my time with my friends.

I went to my kickboxing class last night in Port and then drove down under cover of darkness, just the way I like to roll. Munching on chocolate ginger balls, listening to Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s haunting and gorgeous White Lunaralbum.

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - White Lunar

I woke at 6:30am and did some yoga, then went to the city, followed by Homebush (for business, not sports). This is what I spent copious amounts of money on:

  1. The new Tori Amos album, Night Of Hunters. I thought I’d given up on ol’ Tori after her last album but I heard most of this online and it amazed me.Tori Amos - Night Of Hunters
  2. The Oncesoundtrack, by The Frames’ front man Glen Hansard. I bought this for Angie, but I love it just as much as she does. Plus, Hansard looks and sings and shakes his guitar quite a bit like my friend Ben Fletcher.

    Glen Hansard and Ben Fletcher

    Glen and Ben, which is which?

  3. A collection of Coen Brothers movies that I don’t have yet: Raising Arizona, The Man Who Wasn’t There and their first, Blood Simple. I am very excited to watch these. Coen Brothers
  4. Some iPod speakers for Angie for her birthday. It’s okay, she doesn’t read this. In fact, I’m not sure she knows I have a blog. She definitely wouldn’t think I’d be writing in it, so my secret is safe here.
  5. The third book in a series by my friend Edrei Cullen. They’re written for young folks, presumably with a female focus, but I love them. Possibly partly because I love Edrei, but also because I’ve always loved a good kids fantasy adventure. This coming from the person who hasn’t even seen a Harry Potter film let alone read a book but hey, I read Lord Of The Rings before I turned ten, so bite me. I nearly bought Will Self and Ralph Steadman’s follow up to Pyscho Geography, but I couldn’t go past a friend’s accomplishment. Edrei’s third book is called Scatterbungle, and it looks like this: Edrei Cullen - Scatterbungle
  6. A hell of a lot of bulk organic produce for Angie Gluten Free. We’re going to be taking orders for Christmas cakes this year, so baking will start soon.
  7. New shoes – I haven’t worn converse in way too fucking long. For some reason I was convinced when I became manager of a resort that I needed to dress a little more appropriately. Many was the day when I thought that my conservative footwear was affecting my disposition in a way that was not to my liking at all. Now I have resigned, so the converse are back and you know, I feel good about that.Olive Green Converse

Despite the fact I’m now a wannabe country eco living boy who publicly deplores the city pollution and overcrowded trappings, sometimes I really like the hustle and bustle. Today I felt positively energised. As I waited on the platform at Town Hall Station, ideas were tearing through my head louder than the train thunder screaming out of the tunnel, faster than I could possibly catalogue them in the leaky vessel I keep upstairs.

When I got home, I went for a run around my old stomping grounds, The Crest. When I was younger and a runner I would routinely get attacked by magpies there. I heard recently that it is the males that attack in order to prove to the females that they can take care of business as the nest protector, and that they also focus their aggression on people who remind them of past tormentors. It makes sense, the magpies at home have no tormentors, and the only time they interrupt our day is to try to cajole food from us. I ran for quite a bit longer than I do at home. It felt really good, and maybe I was being fuelled by reminiscences rather than oxygen. I waved at a landscaper as if I did this every day. I’m working on that, the kickboxing classes pretty much demand it. I can either turn up once a week and crawl out of class, or run and skip and drill a little every day and walk out sweaty but smiling. And when I think about it, I can’t think of a better way to live than sweaty and smiling.

Speaking of kickboxing, according to the statistics that wordpress helpfully provides, most people come to this blog on a search for “jason statham girlfriend”. I was thinking about that earlier today, and about how disappointed those people must be when they find me.

Also, another book I’m about to start reading but haven’t yet is Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I feel I will really enjoy this short book.

Tomorrow morning, after I get up early for yoga, I’ll go and see my brother play drums for forty five minutes. He has been studying at a college for five years, and these forty five minutes are what it all comes down to. There’s some kind of moral in that, I’m sure. I’m looking forward to hearing him play (and seeing how much of my editing suggestions he kept on his program notes), but I’m really, really looking forward to seeing my little niece. Christ I’m sounding clucky lately. It’s a shame I live so far away from them, I would totally dominate the babysitting scene if I lived nearby.

After the recital, it’s five hours of driving, then working a dinner, packing the car, going to the Gladstone markets the next morning and then five wonderful, blissful days of holiday; just Angie and I and the forests of Bellingen. I might even do some writing while I’m there.

Where Am I?

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