Book Review – What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

Author Randall Munroe

  • Title: What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
  • Pages: 320
  • Formats: Trade Paper, Kindle and Audible
  • Availability: Amazon 
  • Website: XKCD.COM

Book Blurb

From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe’s iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following.

Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?

In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by signature xkcd comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.

The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with updated and expanded versions of the most popular answers from the xkcd website. What If? will be required reading for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical.

 The concept – Science as entertainment or taking the absurd to the extreme and seeing what it would take to destroy the world (universes optional), your mileage may vary.

 

The Characters:  This story doesn’t really have characters, just answers and research.  Taking odd, niggling questions such as “What does happen if I put a penny in a power outlet?” and letting someone answer scientifically rather than actually trying this at home.

In fact you should never try this stuff at home.

The book tickled my senses and made me want to get a copy for all my science-nerd friends… most of whom are in my immediate family.

What I liked: 

I liked the fact that there was no such thing as taking things too far… and the fact that no planets were harmed in the process of hypothesizing the answers.

What I didn’t like:

It reminded me that a little knowledge in the wrong hands can be dangerous… or amusing.  (With Randall Munroe… probably both)  and that’s also what I liked.

I enjoyed the book immensely and it was another one of those delightful finds you sometimes get and want to share.  I got to listen to the audio book, narrated by Wil Wheaton, which gave the book that much higher a  science/nerd factor.

All is fair in love and science, just… don’t try this at home…  really… especially not the live periodic table of elements.

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Book Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass

  • Author Jim Butcher
  • Title: The Aeronaut’s Windlass
  • Pages: 640
  • Formats: Trade Paper, Kindle and Nook, Audio Book
  • Availability: AmazonBarnes and Noble
  • Website: Jim Butcher

Book Blurb

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…

 

 The concept – Steam Punk, floating cities, Pirates in the Sky, War, Aeronauts, Heroes and Villains,  Intrigue and Monsters… High Adventure and a cast of thousands (okay… not thousands, but a lot.)

Jim Butcher creates an amazing world and explains it by dropping us into the middle of an adventure and letting us catch up as we run from one battle to another.

The Characters:  The characters were interesting and thoroughly enjoyable and when something is told from their point of view – it is, honestly, their point of view.

Main Character: Here we have a slight problem because… there is no one main character – there are multiple characters, each with their own story arc within the book, and for each character there is also their … unit? team?  It’s hard to describe.

Captain Grim and the crew of The Predator:

What works – Captain Grim is a good man, and the crew of the Predator, while not fleet, and point in fact are a band of privateers (government sponsored pirates) they have a good relationship and a moral code they follow.  Ship politics is well played in the story.

Least Favorite trait – While I like characters who sacrifice much for their beliefs, wallowing in it is not my speed.

Why it works/doesn’t work:  If you don’t believe in the crew, if you can’t see the crew believing in her captain- it all falls apart, and I believed the crew of Predator as much as I believed in Predator herself..

Gwendolyn (Gwen), Benedict (Benny), Bridget (Bridget),  Rowl (Rowl)- Spire Arch’ Guards and a Cat:

What works – Young aspiring Spire Arch’s Guards, getting a lot more than they bargained for and seeing the world for the very first time.

Least Favorite trait – Sixteen is a tad too young for what they manage to pull off, and it’s hard to believe that someone so young can pull off the determination and sense of self… while possible… it’s not all that probable.

Why it works/doesn’t work:  They circumstances that throw these characters together are extraordinary and there is a good balance between them… I just wish they were slightly older.

Master Ferus and Folly:

What works – Etherialists are out there… and once you understand that, it all kind of makes sense.

Least Favorite trait – All knowing all seeing….

Why it works/doesn’t work:  Etherialists see things differently, they’re like Yoda on a bad trip.  Their power is balanced out with a really crippling flaw which works and doesn’t work, but is well explained.  (it will make sense after you read the story)

What I liked: 

I liked the fact that this was a character driven story and didn’t bog itself down in mechanics.  It was a story that drew me in and made me want to hear more.  (enough that I listened to it a second time.)

What I didn’t like:

There were a few sections that bordered on munchkinism.  Some things were plausible if not believable… and there was the chapter I labeled the “God in Heaven!” chapter – you’ll know it when you get to it.

Over all I enjoyed the story, and if I pretended the younger characters were a few years older, my inner alarm stopped going off.

(I think the Cinder Spires are an  acceptable excuse as to why Peace Talks isn’t out yet. 😉 )

 

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Book Review: Dangerous Women edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

The point where I realize that my book review format is definitely skewed towards fiction and decide to ignore it and keep the format anyway.

  • Author: Various
  • Editors: George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
  • Title: Dangerous Women
  • Pages: 784
  • Formats: Trade Paper, Kindle, Audio Book
  • Availability: Amazon

Book Blurb

All new and original to this volume, the 21 stories in Dangerous Women include work by twelve New York Times bestsellers, and seven stories set in the authors’ bestselling continuities-including a new “Outlander” story by Diana Gabaldon, a tale of Harry Dresden’s world by Jim Butcher, a story from Lev Grossman set in the world of The Magicians, and a 35,000-word novella by George R. R. Martin about the Dance of the Dragons, the vast civil war that tore Westeros apart nearly two centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones.

Also included are original stories of dangerous women–heroines and villains alike–by Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lawrence Block, Carrie Vaughn, S. M. Stirling, Sharon Kay Penman, and many others.

Writes Gardner Dozois in his Introduction, “Here you’ll find no hapless victims who stand by whimpering in dread while the male hero fights the monster or clashes swords with the villain, and if you want to tie these women to the railroad tracks, you’ll find you have a real fight on your hands. Instead, you will find sword-wielding women warriors, intrepid women fighter pilots and far-ranging spacewomen, deadly female serial killers, formidable female superheroes, sly and seductive femmes fatale, female wizards, hard-living Bad Girls, female bandits and rebels, embattled survivors in Post-Apocalyptic futures, female Private Investigators, stern female hanging judges, haughty queens who rule nations and whose jealousies and ambitions send thousands to grisly deaths, daring dragonriders, and many more.”

 The concept – A collection of short stories about women who are not wilting flowers – but indeed dangerous women.

The Characters:  The characters were as amazing and varied as the authors that have brought them to life.  It’s a perfect sampler of stories and writers

The Stories:

“Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie
“My Heart is Either Broken” by Megan Abbott
“Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland
“The Hands That Are Not There” by Melinda Snodgrass
“Bombshells” by Jim Butcher
“Raisa Stepanova” by Carrie Vaughn
“Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale
“Neighbors” by Megan Lindholm
“I Know How to Pick ’Em” by Lawrence Block, 
“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson 
“A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman,
“The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman
“Second Arabesque, Very Slowly” by Nancy Kress
“City Lazarus” by Diana Rowland
“Virgins” by Diana Gabaldon
“Hell Hath No Fury” by Sherrilyn Kenyon,
“Pronouncing Doom” by S. M. Stirling
“Name the Beast” by Sam Sykes
“Caretakers” by Pat Cadigan
“Lies My Mother Told Me by Caroline Spector 
“The Princess and the Queen, or, the Blacks and the Greens” by George R.R. Martin,

My original interest in this book was the Jim Butcher story “Bombshells” – I’ve made no secret about the fact that I am a Jim Butcher fan – and this story answered the question posed in White Knight… “why did the Svartalves owe Molly a favor?”

The women in these stories are as varied as the genres represented. You have crooks, vamps, wizards, survivors and adventurers.  The Genres include Dystopian, SciFi, historical and the ever popular ‘based on a true story…’

There were some that were not my cup of tea, but there were more than enough to cover anybody’s tastes.

I will say that I think two of the stories should have come with a trigger warning, and who knows, maybe the written version did. (I borrowed the audio book from the library)

On one or two stories I felt the endings were rushed, but as I said, I’ve listened to the ones I like repeatedly.

My favorite three stories are:

Bombshells – Dresden Files for the win or, why the Svartalves owed Molly a favor.

Raisa Stepanova – Many years ago, I found a book called “NightWitches” about the Russian women of the 588th  night bomber regiment.  This was an account (fictionalized) of one of the pilots.

Shadows for Silence – A haunting tale in a very well developed world that served as an appetizer and left me wanting to look up Brandon Sanderson.

What I liked: 

I liked getting to hear and read about characters I know and love and getting to see authors I haven’t had the pleasure of discovering and seeing what they can do.

What I didn’t like:

Not everyone’s writing is for everyone, and while there were some stories I loved dearly and could listen to again and again – there were some where I felt left out – I began to wonder… why did I bother?  But that is the nature of collections –

I discovered some new authors I want to learn more about, and read/listen to more of their stories.  I first borrowed the audio book from the library to listen to the Jim Butcher piece ‘Bombshells’  I have borrowed it 3 more times, and am on the waiting list again.

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Book Review: Nerd Do Well – Simon Pegg

The point where I realize that my book review format is definitely skewed towards fiction and decide to ignore it and keep the format anyway.

  • Author Simon Pegg
  • Title: Nerd Do Well
  • Pages: 368
  • Formats: Trade Paper, Kindle, Audio Book
  • Availability: Amazon
  • Website: Peggster

Book Blurb

The unique life story of one of the most talented and inventive comedians, star of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul, Spaced, and Star Trek.

Zombies in North London, death cults in the West Country, the engineering deck of the Enterprise — actor, comedian, writer, and supergeek Simon Pegg has been ploughing some bizarre furrows. Having landed on the U.S. movie scene in the surprise cult hit Shaun of the Dead, his enduring appeal and rise to movie stardom has been mercurial, meteoric, megatronic, but mostly just plain great.From his childhood (and subsequently adult) obsession with science fiction, his enduring friendship with Nick Frost, and his forays into stand-up comedy, which began with his regular Monday-morning slot in front of his twelve-year-old classmates, Simon has always had a severe and dangerous case of the funnies.Whether recounting his experience working as a lifeguard at the city pool, going to Comic-Con for the first time and confessing to Carrie Fisher that he used to kiss her picture every night before he went to sleep, or meeting and working with heroes that include Peter Jackson, Kevin Smith, and Quentin Tarantino, Pegg offers a hilarious look at the journey to becoming an international superstar.

 

 The concept – Give Simon Pegg pen and paper, or a keyboard… or pen, paper, a keyboard and a talking robot butler and tell him to write an autobiography

The Characters:  Simon Pegg is a fan, a nerdy, geeky fan… who’s made movies… he’s written and stared in movies… and has realized the fan-boy dream of working with people that nerdy, geeky fans would want to work with.   Nerd Do Well, indeed.

Main Character:

Simon Pegg: Acerbic, witty international spy/playboy, trying to save the world from total destruction… or at least put off writing his memoirs because he doesn’t think he’s lived enough to warrant an autobiography.

Simon Pegg: Comedian, writer, actor… often found in association with Nick Frost and Edgar Wright.  Montgomery Scott in the JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot, Detective Angel in Hot Fuzz…

What works – Simon Pegg.

What I liked: 

I kind of enjoyed the over the top story he was trying to write instead of his memoirs.  (and the audio book was read by Simon Pegg.)

What I didn’t like:

… give me some time and I’ll think about it… oh yeah… way too short.  (but then again the audio player was on 1.2)

This gem was a surprise I found when, right before leaving work I discovered that the library book I had been listening to on the commute in had expired and was no longer available.  I logged into the library and this was the first book listed.

Sometimes technology works in your favor, and I had a delightful ride home.

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Book Review – Working for Bigfoot

  • Author: Jim Butcher
  • Title: Working for Bigfoot
  • Pages: 163
  • Formats: Hardback, Paperback, Kindle, Audio Book
  • Availability: Amazon
  • Website: Jim Butcher

Book Blurb:

Chicago wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden is used to mysterious clients with long hair and legs up to here. But when it turns out the long hair covers every square inch of his latest client’s body, and the legs contribute to a nine-foot height, even the redoubtable detective realizes he’s treading new ground. Strength of a River in His Shoulders is one of the legendary forest people, a Bigfoot, and he has a problem that only Harry can solve. His son Irwin is a scion, the child of a supernatural creature and a human. He’s a good kid, but the extraordinary strength of his magical aura has a way of attracting trouble.

In the three novellas that make up ”Working For Bigfoot,” collected together for the first time here, readers encounter Dresden at different points in his storied career, and in Irwin’s life. As a middle-schooler, in ”B is For Bigfoot,” Irwin attracts the unwelcome attention of a pair of bullying brothers who are more than they seem, and when Harry steps in, it turns out they have a mystical guardian of their own. At a fancy private high school in ”I Was a Teenage Bigfoot,” Harry is called in when Irwin grows ill for the first time, and it’s not just a case of mono. Finally, Irwin is all grown up and has a grown-up’s typical problems as a freshman in college in ”Bigfoot on Campus,” or would have if typical included vampires.

New York Times bestseller Jim Butcher explores the responsibilities of fatherhood and the difficulties of growing up with the elements Dresden Files fans crave–detection, adventure, humor, and magic.

 

 The concept:

 In “Skin Game” Professional Wizard, Harry Dresden mentioned working with “one of the forest people” and mentioned “RiverShoulders.” These novellas fill in the details and give Dresden Files fans something to whet their appetite.

The Characters:

Main Character:

Character Name: Harry Dresden

What works – What’s not to love about a wise cracking, self depreciating wizard with a very big, shaggy dog?

Least Favorite trait – He can be dense at times

Why it works/doesn’t work:

 It works because… Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.  If you’re a fan, you know why.  If you aren’t you either should be, or he’s just not your cup of tea.    The vampires in his world aren’t, for the most part, tortured beings: they are who they are.  The villains are villainous and the hero is heroic (and a tad of a smart ass).  What’s not to love?

What I liked:  

The novella tell three stories, in three different times in Harry’s life and Jim Butcher did a very good job of matching up the Harry Dresden of that period to the the period where the stories took place.

It fills in some of the gaps in Harry’s life and explains a throwaway line that could have simply stood there as a blank slate, and it gave me some new tales of Harry Dresden to keep me going until “Peace Talks” comes out.

What I didn’t like:

 136 pages… less than 4 hours of audio…  Yeah… it was too short… But… Harry!.

I really wish I could have waited for these to come out in another collection because it was so short and it was still full priced… But I have re-listened several times and the stories have seen me through some rough commutes.

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Anatomy of an edit: Less might not be more, but sometimes it’s better

This week’s Flash Friday prompt inspiration was “Pilgrim’s Progress” and the Elements that were given almost wrote the story in my head… only with 100 words +/- 1.. I had my work cut out for me.

The first draft started out nicely:

Good and Evil walked together last night, down that long and winding road. They talked about the weather that spring— as the seasons did unfold.

It had a nice rhythm to it, and it hinted at something to come, that I wasn’t sure I could maintain let alone build on.  I got a few more bits,  but then what followed was a jumble of random phrases and pieces that were mangled to the point that it looked… like someone had taken my 200 word piece, cut them into words and phrases and dumped them on the table.

That someone, was of course, me.

They walked through the city of the damned, the devil the angel and me.
And though none of us knew where the trail would lead,

Old enemies make for loyal friends when they face a common foe

When I would have fallen, they balanced me, one on either side. Through the ashes and the cinders they guided my steps, though none of knew where the trail would lead.
They walked together and yet they were alone. For they both inside of me. You can blame the devil, or thank the angel but you’re the one who decides.

At this point, I gave up on word count for sifting through the mess and looking for gems to keep and pieces that would fit and organizing them.

Which gave me my actual first draft.  We’ll call what happened before my ‘notes.’

Good and Evil walked together last night, down that long and winding road. They talked about the weather that spring— as the seasons did unfold.
The dark and the light were illusions that night as the shadows hid in plain sight.
“The truth is a lie,” the first one said.
But the other rebuked him and laughed.
“The lie is a truth that some will believe, but a lie is a lie just the same.”
And so they walked neath the high walled keep: the devil, the angel and me.

It was a rather rough – rough draft and at 90 words, I had 9-11 words that had to be added in the polishing process.

Since I was working in Scrivener, I copied the document over and took snap shots of the story as it progressed (in case I lost something along the way that I’d find out I needed later. (I have mentioned how much I love Scrivener haven’t I?)

Good and Evil walked together last night, down that long and winding road. They talked about the weather that spring— as the seasons did unfold.

The dark and the light were illusions so bright that the shadows danced in plain sight.

“The truth is a lie,” the first one said.

But the other rebuked him and laughed.

“The lie is a truth that some will believe, but a lie is a lie just the same.”

And so they walked neath the high walled keep and the guards let them pass, ‘cause they couldn’t see that the devil and angel were me.

Okay, on this pass I played with the words – illusions that night, because illusions so bright (because I didn’t want to overuse night… and why hide if it’s bright… why not dance?)

I was still short in words so I tried to add a touch more, still keeping the phrase ‘the devil the angel and me,’ and that got me to 101 words.

This meant I had a rough draft, with a rough word count – and that’s where something interesting happened.  I started playing with syllables instead of just words because it had become poetic prose and I wanted to clean it up, keep the word count and not lose the momentum.

That’s where my attempts at a sonnet came in handy.

And so they walked neath the high walled keep and the guards let them pass, ‘cause they couldn’t see that the devil and angel were me.

Became

And so we walked neath the high walled keep, past the city of the damned.  Reports all say only one man passed: the devil,the angel and me.

26 words became 28… and I had to lose two words, but keep whatever syllables where there… not to mention the fact that the rhythm was a bit off in different places.

During one word count pass “long and winding road’ become ‘lonesome winding road’ dropping a word without loosing the syllable.

‘City of the damned’ became ‘Citadel of the damned’ because it was a neater rhythm and a cooler word… and I ended up with:

The Lonesome Road

Good and Evil walked together last night, down that lonesome winding road. They talked about the weather that spring— as the seasons did unfold.
The dark and the light were illusions so bright that the shadows danced all around.
“The truth is a lie,” the first one said, but the other rebuked him and laughed.
“The lie is a truth that some will believe, but a lie is a lie just the same.”
And so we walked neath the high walled keep, past the citadel of the damned.
Reports all say only one man passed: the devil,the angel and me.

Looking at it now, I might change some of the groupings because the lines look wrong grouped like that… but that’s a different exercise for another day…

This morning’s exercise was to take what I posted as a seed and see how it grew up.  Ultimately I think I prefer the shorter version… but I’ll let you decide which is better.  Does the long version mean more – or does it ruin the magic of the first version?

The Lonesome Road (Long Version)

Good and Evil walked together last night, down that lonesome winding road. They talked about the weather that spring— as the seasons did unfold.
The dark and the light were illusions so bright that the shadows danced all around.
“The truth is a lie,” the first one said, but the other rebuked him and laughed.
“The lie is a truth that some will believe, but a lie is a lie just the same.”
And so we walked neath the high walled keep, past the citadel of the damned.
Reports all say only one man passed: the devil, the angel and me.

Good and Evil walked side by side, past the river that flowed to the sea. They spoke of the world and the coming fall and whether the crops were good.
The dark and the light, the good and the bad; all fell to the scythe that year.
“The world is the word,” the second one said, but the other just shook his head.
“The world is the world, still some will believe that the world makes the word what it is.”
And so we walked past the high green fields, ‘mongst the harvesters that year.
Reports all say, only one man passed: the angel, the devil and me.

Good and Evil walked together that day, through the valley to the sea, we talked about the battle to come- as the harvesters reaped what’d they’d sown.
The dark and the light played games in mid-flight, as the arrows were loosed by the free.
“The people hear but they cannot see,” I said to the two by my side.
“They see what the want,” the others agreed. “But none truly see how it is.”
Together we walked through the iron wrought gate, and the guardians bid us come.
And so we walked together alone, the devil, the angel and me.

 

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Welcome to the insanity that is: NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of year again: friends vanish for long stretches of time and start obsessing about word counts and write-ins, all in the name of NaNoWriMo.  For those of you who haven’t heard about it, November is National Novel Writing Month, and for one month writers all over the world try to write 50,000 words in one month (1667 words per day or, if you’re like some of us… 50,0000 words in about 9 days loaded up on generous doses of caffeine and sugar.) towards a novel.

Then you have the slightly more  insane members of this happy band of writing fiends… the MLs (Municipal Liaisons) who not only try to write 50K words, but try to get everyone in their region to try and write 50K by scheduling prep classes, get togethers, write-ins, word sprints and word wars.  1 part insane writing machine, 1 part logistics planner, two parts cheerleader these people find new and creative ways to inspire people to write.

The whole process can be insane and it can be scary.  The deeper you get into the month, the more your word count becomes your arch nemesis – needling you and pushing you on.  It can be your downfall or your best supporter – and it could be both on any given day.

Over the past three years, I have gotten behind, and challenged myself to try something even more insane than 1667 words a day.  It started with a 3K day, the next year it was a 5K day, where I would have made it to 5 if I hadn’t run into the next day (I still counted it as 5 since I hadn’t gone to bed yet), the next year was 6, and I realized after I was finished that when I write, what’s coming up next  in the story kind of percolates in the back of my mind and all I was doing was emptying out the reserve and leaving myself dry for a few days.

This year has been my slowest start ever.  I had less than 7K written and I set my goal for breaking that barrier, only being hopped up on caffeine and having put my inner editor in a car with movie money (which it spent on beer, karaoke, and wooing my inner critic) my twitter ‘mission statement’ was improperly worded and what I actually said was that my goal was to get 7K rather than get to 7K.

It seems my inner judgement had gone after my AWOL editor and and critic (and discovered that all it really wanted was a nice long nap).  With that voice out of the way, I said… “Why Not?”

What followed was an easy numbers game that led to me discovering that I really needed to work on my math.  I had the 11K day and inspiration for the following days as well.

It started with the originally planned goal of breaking the 7K barrier and led to the old joke:  How do you eat an elephant?  and the answer was the same – in small bites.

Getting to (and passed my goal) involved setting smaller, more easily reached goals.

337 words to break 7K was followed by: oh… if I write another 75 I’ll be at a nice round number.  If I write 100 words, my words per day will show an increase.  Oh, look… it says I’ll finish in March.  the 150’s, 10s, 75s added up and I usually exceeded them, and I didn’t do it all at once.  I wrote for half an hour in the morning, and then during breaks during the day.  I took a nap… I worked, I wrote… I took a break… I wrote, I worked I watched TV… and I wrote.

I tried not to think ‘I have to write 7K’ and instead make bite sized chunks of the writing until I had 1075 to go to get to the point where I would have caught up with what my word count should have been.  By then I was used to just writing.

Granted some of the writing was just mini-rants, or comments about what I was doing to get me going again, but for the most part… it will be at least semi useful.

The whole challenge is not for everyone.  Some people prefer to be organized, linear… in full control and write almost ready for publishing work.  Some people can’t turn off their inner voices and have trouble.  Some people psych themselves out…

But you can psych yourself in too.  I wrote 11,076 words in one day.  Is it ‘good’? Is it ‘polished’?  Not by any stretch of the imagination but if you look at it.. you’re adding bulk to your story, like a sculptor who starts out with a framework, you glob your clay onto the form, roughing in the details… and then, come December, you start carving the details into the rough form, carving out the bad spots and cutting details from the lumps until the story/figure emerges, but you do it in small bites.

Now if I can just get those drunken voices to stop singing and get some shut eye, I’ll be in great shape.

Where’s that Lebanese coffee I ordered?

 

 

 

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