Monday, November 13, 2006
Tempting fate.
In a weird cosmic miracle that I was really not expecting (and hesitate to write about for fear of jinxing both), my knitting and my novel are both going very well today.

This was not the case yesterday. Or two days ago. Or really, at any point this month before today. The first week of November, my novel was kicking my ass but my knitting was pretty much non existent. I got a little bit done here and there on one sock but it was not going well. I hated the sock I was making and it was taking FOREVER. But my word count was going really well, so I was surviving. But then I started panicking about the knitting situation a little bit. I finished the annoying pair, and that helped somewhat. Now I've got 3 and a half of my eight pairs done and ready to go. Fine. So I started to cast on another pair, and it sucked. Sucked hard. I'm doing something a little weird with this pair, but I really needed it to work out because this is going to be my absolute favourite pair when it's done. (It is so cool that even though I'm sure the eventual owner does not read this blog, I'm not going to risk it because most of the coolness is in the surprise.) I frogged it at least four times and had a huge pile of frogged yarn sitting next to my chair. Argh! But whatever, I'll ignore the knitting and work on the novel.

Then, around Wednesday, I hit an enormous block. Huge, gigantic blocky thing. My novel was sucking. I didn't care. My knitting was sucking. I did care about that. (At this point, I wasn't worried about hitting the 50K, because I was already at about 41K, but I'd lost all motivation to write. However, I was getting very concerned about the highly impending Christmas and the long list of things still to knit!) So I ditched the novel and cast on a Jaywalker.

I love that pattern. It is so fast once you get going on it, and by Friday night I had a big chunk of it done. I didn't write a word on Friday, but I got a lot knit!

Yesterday rolled around, and we had a write-in. Great! Write-ins are usually super productive for me. Neville and I (Neville is my laptop. Have I mentioned that before? Poor beloved Giles died a tragic death a few months ago. I'm not quite over it yet and I still miss him.) So I get to SUB where everyone is meeting, and settle into one of their surprisingly comfy chairs, and I proceed to have the least productive write-in EVER. Seriously. EVER. There came a point in the day when Patrick and I actually went and rode up the elevator to see if RATT was open since we figured alcohol might help with the writer's block. It SUCKED.

But I did get some knitting done! Clearly there was some kind of cosmic balance at play here.

Until today! I got home from the waterpark last night (Ben and Jana were in town so we went to the waterpark, which was very fun although there are too many damn stairs in that place!), and had a PM waiting for me from Patrick, who basically bribed me with booze to get writing again. (Which was very kind of him. Since we're technically competing, it's in his best interest for me to be sucking, but he took pity on me because he is nicer than I am.) So today, once Ben and Jana dragged themselves away from Sims (shortly after SimBen and SimJana had SimTwins) and went bak to Calgary, I sat down and started writing.

And lo and behold, I got over the block. Weirdly, it was 900 words of bra shopping that got me over it, but hey, whatever works, right? And then, suddenly, I kept going, and before I knew it I'd written 4500 words and was less than 2000 from 50K. So I wrote like the dickens for a few more word wars, and just like that, there was 50K. It wasn't even painful getting there! (Well, today. Yesterday and the few days before it were definitely painful.)

So I figured my knitting was totally screwed, and I did have another false start on this super neat sock that required yet more frogging. But I took a deep breath, cast on AGAIN, and just kept on going. And now, it's done! Well, the hard part, not the sock itself. But I got the weird section done and now it's just straight stockinette and suddenly, this list doesn't seem so impossible.

Now that I've tempted the fates I'm going to go back up my novel and double check all my knitting. I'm sure my cosmic ass-kicking is impending. You'd think I'd learn my lesson from my novel, given that the first line of it is "I've heard of tempting fate, but this is ridiculous."

Apparently I'm a slow learner.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Report from the frantic noveling front
So it’s NaNoWriMo season once again, and I’m tearing myself away from my novel for a few minutes to write here instead. This year, for the first time, I’m writing in first person, and as a result I’ve found myself much more attached to my main character than usual. Normally I just get the hots for the main guy, but I don’t really have one yet. Well, I guess I do, but she just dumped him because my GOD, he was a jerk. Man. Total dink. I wrote a scene that featured a random guy in a bar and he was all cute and charming and now I sort of want him to come back. But that wouldn’t really fit with where things are going, so he will just have to be a glorious moment of cuteness among the angst.

It’s interesting, actually, because my actual plot that I had in mind has only just started. Considering I’m now more than 37,000 words in (yes, I know it’s the 6th, yes, I’m insane, but I’m not even first in Edmonton! Clearly I’ve created a monster around here), you’d think I’d be a bit more concerned about getting into the actual meat of things, but I seem to have come to terms with the fact that this might actually be a full length novel. Last year, I had a really solid structure, and everything was totally well planned out in advance. 24 hours, one hour per chapter, done. It was great. I finished in about 65,000 words, and for the first time, I actually finished a damn story. It wasn’t bad, either.

Anyway, having finished one (and I intentionally gave it that really rigid structure for the express purpose of actually finishing the freaking thing), it doesn’t seem so impossible now, so I’ll keep trucking along and hope to get through the rest of the story. We’ll see if it goes where I expect it to – will she hook up with the guy who’s only been mentioned in passing in a letter from ten years ago? We’ll see.

MLing this year is going really well so far. I recruited Karen to be my co-ML, which has been excellent since I hang out with her all the time anyway. Edmonton is officially insane, though. We had about 60 people at our kick-off and we’ve been getting 25-30 people at our write-ins! What the hell? Where are all these people coming from? It is neat to see people from previous years, though. It’s like a reunion!

Knitting-wise, things are not quite as rosy. I got three socks finished in Socktoberfest. Yeah. Well, four, I suppose, but still. Not nearly as many as I’d hoped. I’m adjusting my plans slightly, so please don’t be offended if you get one sock and an IOU for Christmas. I’m going to try to get the out of towner socks done first, so if you live here you might have to wait a few weeks after Christmas to get your sock’s friend. But it just extends the holiday season! Right?


So, life ticks along. The weather sucks. It’s cold and snowy and windy and bleah. For someone who knits as much as I do, you’d think I’d be a little better prepared for these things, but stuff I’ve made myself is in pretty short supply. All that glorious Malabrigo is TAUNTING me but I have held out so far and stuck to the Christmas knitting. I may freeze to death, but dammit, I will have Christmas presents!

There. This is six hundred words that could have gone in my novel, and now I’ve probably fallen behind Patrick (three freaking people challenged me to one-on-one duels this year, and two of them are right on my tail or slightly ahead of me, so it’s all very exciting and dramatic), but at least my blog isn’t looking so sad. Sorry, blog. (And what the hell, Microsoft? Blog is a word! Get with the freaking times!)