I like corm…or how a tiny heartbeat has begun to change my life

Corm

I like Corm too!

Time to get a tad personal for a bit. My wife and I are having a baby. This is partially expected, but also kind of  wasn’t. We’d just about given up on any possibility of it actually happening to us, but it seems that the stars aligned right about the time of our thirteenth wedding anniversary.

I remember very clearly as my wife and I were driving back from a trip to see my parents. We were talking about our lack of kids, as the subject usually came up anytime that we visited them. They very badly wanted for us to have children, and were very annoyed that we haven’t, even after thirteen years of marriage and even longer being together. This trip was no different than any other. My mom cornered me, and then my wife as well.

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What I learned from National Novel Writing Month

This year I participated in the 2011 National Novel Writing Month, or otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. I got familiar with the activity last year, but just thought it was a novel (see what I did there) idea. Since my initial familiarity with it last year, I have dabbled with a bit of writing, blogging (rarely), and even the beginnings of a work of fiction in my head that had a couple “chapters” make it onto a written page.Thing is, I haven’t done a great deal of writing. Between the project from hell at work, and general other things that took up my time, I just never had the time I wanted to devote it. Then the project from hell ended, time began to open up and there I was on November first, talking with a friend about NaNoWriMo and it’s actual start being that day. I created my account on NaNoWriMo.org, still not sure whether to do it or not. By the end of the work day, I had decided to make a go of it.I cheated a bit as I really didn’t write fiction, but the important thing to me was that I was writing. I had this idea in my head that my family had made my life somewhat interesting so I started the idea of, “How The Old Country Died in America.” Conceptually this was my growing up in America, with the slant that my family brought me with their upbringing in eastern Europe. What mattered, to me, was that I was writing.

This being my first experience with NaNoWriMo, here’s what I learned:

  • For the month of November, I watched a lot less TV.
  • Holy crap! Distractions!
  • I have some supportive folks around me, especially Flak, my wife, and certain members of my family who read a few excerpts and gave me a bit of feedback.
  • I learned that I want to know more about my family, because to truly depict their lives correctly and respectfully, I need to write more than what I know, but about them and their views.
  • I can actually write (not sure how well, but I can put words on a page in a coherent manner).
  • Scrivener is a pretty cool writing instrument.
  • 50,000 words is a whole lot of words.

So, as much as I enjoyed the experience, for someone like me, trying this for the first time, it’s pretty daunting, even near impossible.

There are a few things NaNoWriMo could do to make the experience…I don’t want to say better, but more palatable for less experienced writers. NaNoWriMo is held in November, which is where most of the drawbacks exist:

  • November is short
  • November has a major holiday that most people likely celebrate
  • For students, November tends to be near the end of fall semester which certainly doesn’t help get things done

Now those drawbacks can be overcome, I just couldn’t do it. Once you fall behind, it’s daunting to try and catch up. To hit that 50,000 words, you have to write around 1,666 words a day, which is doable, but pretty challenging. Personally, my subject matter was practically already written in my head, until I hit the wall of what I didn’t know, but when I fell behind, I found myself trying to make up that deficit the next day, which was nearly impossible at some point. At the end, I started using NaNoWriMo’s dashboard tools with Scrivener to figure out better daily goals that were more palatable.

In the end, I enjoyed the experience, even if I didn’t hit the goal for the month. I wrote almost every day, save my wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving. So, not that you all care, but I did get 28,440 words down and the intent to write more on the subject.

I wrote something

Here’s a post that’s not really about anime.

Good friend of mine that runs Dreams of the Quill (dotq.org) had a writing challenge recently. I enjoy writing, so I took a stab at a little bit of fiction. I wanted to give my meager readership here a chance to take a look at it, because truly, any feedback would be just so spiffy.

So without further ado, please head over to dotq.org and check out Operator 35571:

http://dotq.org/2011/03/28/operator-35571

Comments can be left on the page there, or here.

Enjoy, and while you’re there, check out the other entries also: http://dotq.org/2011/03/28/results-of-writing-challenge-1