NaNoWriMo 2014: Yep, I’m Participating!

After several years of sidestepping, I’ve finally decided to dive head-first into NaNoWriMo!


For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an event where writers of any skill level (even people who don’t really don’t consider themselves writers) will create a novel of at least 50K words during the month of November. Editing isn’t important. Polishing and getting it ready for submission isn’t ready. That stuff comes later. For the purposes of NaNoWriMo, it’s all about getting that first draft COMPLETED!

During the course of the next month and a half, I’ll post my thoughts and experiences…and maybe even an untampered excerpt or two (with the exception of correcting the inevitable misspellings).

Stay tuned!

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Shelf of the Banned

Saw this unbelievable site at a local library…


Thanx to the gang at the Bull Run Regional Library (Manassas VA) for allowing me the leniency of photographing their display without calling the police on me for ‘suspicious activities.’

Who would have ever believed that we’d see “Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” and a Captain Underpants book on the same banned shelf….?! The Moral Police must be going nuts.

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Allergic to the Cure

If I were to enter a new profession, it would be as an allergist. That way, I could somehow—hopefully—discover the reason why so many people have such debilitating reactions to hearing and speaking THE TRUTH.

I could stand to make billions!

More than likely, though, I’d go broke because most people would be allergic to the cure.

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Game On! The Plural Edition

Late September / early October is a great time for sports fans like me. Plenty of things going on!

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The Washington Capitals start their 2014-2015 campaign on October 9. My emotions from of last season are off-center because the Capitals didn’t make the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons. To right the ship, the Capitals have hired a new coach and upgraded the defense…among other things. We shall see soon enough if those changes make a worthy enough difference to get the Capitals back into the postseason…but, I was planning on watching as many of the games as I can, anyway.

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The Washington Redskins are making me happy that the University of Maryland football team is doing so well.

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And, speaking of the Terrapins…anyone who was nervous that their move to the Big Ten Conference was equal to a sheep accepting an invitation to a wolf’s dinner party can rest assured. At least, for a few more days. They smacked their first B1G opponent, Indiana, last Saturday, 37-15, so we Terrapins fans are starting to feel fairly good about our team.

But, we all know how that sort of thing works. The Terrapins play host to Ohio State this weekend in my home town. I originally said this game was going to represent a “bloodletting,” but the euphoria from last weekend’s game is convincing me to believe the Terrapins will make a serious run at an upset.

But, the realist in me says I’ll believe it when I see it.

And, then I will celebrate it.

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I haven’t watched a NASCAR race in I can’t remember how long. But, just as I was starting to convince myself it was because I’m usually wall-to-wall busy on Sundays, I realized I haven’t been paying attention to the WRC, either.

Have I lost my taste for racing?

Not permanently. Consider: the vast majority of my most recent behind-the-wheel time has been spent running errands and shuttling people back and forth and going places I don’t really want to go, rather than just driving for fun. So, based on that, I’ve decided that, once I return to my regularly scheduled vehicular romps, I will find my way back to watching cars that are much faster than mine.

Sounds reasonable to me.

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The Baltimore Orioles begin their playoff series this Thursday against the Detroit Tigers. Normally, I go with the old adage that tells us: pitching and defense wins playoff games. But, when you have the type of offense the O’s have, I’m looking forward to a lot of traffic on the base paths.

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Games on!

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Banned Books By The Numbers

For those against censorship, and those who believe everyone has a right to read what they want, the following link is worth checking out:

Banned Books By The Numbers

Somebody laughed the other day when I said I would be happy to find one of my books included in some sort of censorship statistic. It would prove (to me, at the very least) that I’m writing as a free thinking, not as a sheep.

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How To Be A Writer – The Digital Board Game

I found this web site, and decided to share it with everyone.

How To Be A Writer

On my first play, despite falling into the “Twitter hole” (which is unrealistic, since I haven’t used Twitter in years…I figured they meant “Facebook hole,” which I would more likely agree with), and having suffered a “crisis of confidence” (I’ve been there before, unfortunately), I still scored a 63, and received the ranking: Shakespeare – a writer for the ages!

I decided to play it again, and took a much more frantic pace across the game board, which included landing on the “read,” “write,” and “revise” squares multiple times (a closer result to my current reality). In the end, I ended up with only 24 points, and the ranking: You’re Ayn Rand: You have some avid fans, but even more critics.

Curious. In this physical realm, I very much am privileged to have a handful of fans that enjoy my works. Except, I only have two (that I am aware of) true critics.

It occurred to me that my count of both fans and critics would go up if I would spend a little less time on the “revise” square.

Definitely worth the gamble.

For all you writers out there (and even those who are considering joining the writing world): play the game and share how you did with the rest of the class.

Game on!

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Cooking With Theories

A world building discussion on a science fiction writers board I frequent took a curious turn when somebody asked: how do we approach topics that are still very much theoretical (in other words…topics that have still not been proven or disproven)? The concept of time was named specifically. So was the concept of extra dimensions.

I happen to be working on stories that involve those concepts, as well as a story involving alternate realities, so I felt the urge to participate.

Quite obviously, every science fiction author has his/her own slant on how those concepts actually exist, and I’ve always believed that such liberties are justified because our planet’s greatest theoretical minds still don’t have indisputable evidence as to their actual nature and mechanics.

One of the board’s participants shared that his approach of including such topics in his stories involves gathering and reading as much information as he can, then letting it ‘cook.’

That’s just about the same way I’ve been approaching that task. I’ve read more theoretical information on those three topics than I expected to find. I’ve held those theories up against the stories I wanted to tell, and vice versa; what I discovered was that, in addition to making adjustments to the stories themselves, I was rewriting the rules—the very existence!—of the Directions of Time, the higher dimensions, and alternate realities in ways that made sense for the stories. It was an interesting and educational checks and balances dance: the published thoughts of others kept me from twisting these theories in contriving ways just to keep my original storyline intact, and my desire to tell a unique story tasked me to push these theories in directions others might not yet have considered or imagined.

Of course, I won’t have a true indication as to how plausible are my theories and how entertaining are my stories until these works are published. Check back with me in a hundred years or so.

Or, depending on what I conclude about the directions of Time, check back with me yesterday.

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