Friday, October 16, 2009

More Linkage: NaNoWriMo

Here's a great post from Editor Unleashed on why to do it, comparing NaNo to running with the bulls. Makes me feel all brave and wild.

Also, Dr. Wicked is going to be rolling out a new version next week, promising even more helpful evil. (Who's hoping that Electric Shock Mode finally gets enabled?) Hit me with your best shot.

Finally, I uploaded or downloaded (which is it?) the free trial of Liquid Writer just to see what all the fuss is about, and I'll tell you one thing: she's hot. I don't know if it's something I'll use, but it's fun to play with in my very limited playtime.

I'm heading in early to get a jump on grading. Today my kiddies take their first semester final. English 2 begins Monday with Romeo and Juliet, for which I am stoked. Loves me some Romeo and Juliet.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

My First Fling With Dr. Wicked

Go! Goal set--200 words, 15 minutes. I am taking my first real stab at using Dr. Wicked's Write or Die site, and because I have no idea how fast I can or should write (or type, for that matter,) I thought that would be a valid first outing.

I first heard about Dr. Wicked on the NaNoWriMo site (yes, I'm obsessed, aren't you?) and thought I'd give him a go. The site allows you to set a timer and a writing goal, which my inner Luddite snottily smirks at. Did Isak Dinesen require a website with a timer? NO! And the only outside help Balzac had was the copious consumption of coffee, which I understand he drank all day and into the night, up to and past the point of madness. I can no longer avail myself of such chemical extremes, preferring to pop an extra vitamin B and swig some fish oil from the bottle instead. I like to sleep when I'm in bed, thank you very much. But anyway, I'm jabbering now not only to avoid punishment (I'll tell you about that in a minute) but also to drown out the annoying anti-nerd nerd in my head. No, Dinesen and Balzac and Asimov--

ooh, the celebratory horns just blew with 7 minutes, 47 seconds left to go. The horns are good, they mean to say I hit my word count. So that means I am capable of writing 100 words in 7 minutes. So that means if I can, wait, let me hit the calculator. So, if I'm doing my math right, that means I SHOULD be able to write that 50,000 word "novel" in 3500 minutes. which works out to be 58.33333333333333 hours. In a month. Piece of cake.

All of these calculations assume I can keep up the pace. My plan is just to freewrite for 58.33 hours spread carefully over a month. 1000 words every weekday morning before school. 3000 on Saturdays and 5000 on Sundays, taking off Thanksgiving and the day before.

But back to Dr. Wicked. If I had paused to think for a bit too long, the background on my screen would have turned pink (which it did at one point,) then red, and then a presumably obnoxious song would have started playing and continued until I began typing again. My setting right now is 'average', but if I went with the kamikaze setting, the punishment is much more severe-- the words would begin unwriting themselves until I resumed. How evil is that?

So, after one roll with Dr Wicked, I think I love him. And I'm sorry DH Lawrence didn't have a spell check, and Henry James could not avail himself of word count, but I live now and if I have to breath modern air, and be a weak ol' modern woman who will never know the joy of trimming her own quills or killing her own goose, I might as well enjoy my gadgets.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October Anxiety

So much for posting twice a week. Time has really gotten away from me-- papers to grade have piled up and up while I prepare to teach new content, read the new material not much ahead of my students and try to prepare meaningful instruction that is actually meaningful while also staying true to the "spirit" (really wrong word) of Standards Based Instruction or whatever the hell we're calling it these days.

I'm behind on every kind of correspondence I have, behind on every kind of reading, my home looks like a hobbit's version of Grey Gardens, and if I keep up this catalog I'll have an anxiety attack so let's just drop it.

All this to say I just can't wait for November. Which pretty much confirms insanity. I am afraid of looking at the NaNoWriMo website because the last time I was involved with so many people (15,363 worldwide participants have signed up as of yesterday) it was working on Obama's campaign. The site has so many message boards that I can't begin to know which might be helpful, inspiring, etc, and which will just be another way for me to lose time. So I'm avoiding.

What I'm caught up on: TV. There, I said it. I won't apologize for loving Mad Men, and am blissfully enraptured with both Glee and Bored to Death. So, while I shouldn't be too smug about deciding to cancel Netflix for the month of November, I will not be quitting my telly shows. I say I'm studying dramatic structure and don't care to hear any argument about that, thanks.

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