Hard choices

I feel you, Homer.


Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving in the U.S. today. I know Canadians have our own Thanksgiving date, but I figured since this blog wasn’t around back then, this would be a good time to make up for it. So what in particular am I thankful for?

My family, of course. Flossy and Avi are what make me… well… me. Flossy is always looking out for what’s best for me and the family, even at the expense of her own time and dreams. It’s a kind of selflessness that’s hard to recognize, and even more poignant for the fact that she’s not looking for recognition. She does it because she does it.

And for that, my dear, thanks.

And Avi? It’s a hard job being the cutest little paper-muncher on earth, but she manages just fine. Baby care is a difficult job, don’t get me wrong. There’s diapers, health worries, sleepness nights, and all the paranoia associated with having a little bundle of energy running around your house and making a mess; but all Avi has to do is smile and laugh, and everything is forgiven.

Thank you, Avi. For making your dad such a sap.

What else am I thankful for? Well, my writing. I’m grateful that I’m good enough at this that I can at least make some money off it to help feed my family. And that I’m skilled enough at writing fantastical fantasy fantasies to at least please my writing group (most of the time). I like writing enough that I’m comfortable¬† doing it as a day job, as a side business, and as a hobby all at the same time. I don’t see that changing any time soon.

There are other things that I’m thankful for, of course. Relatives. Friends. My house. Ramen. But these are really the three that take the proverbial Turkey Cake.

What are you thankful for?

Your Internal Editor: Friend or Foe?

So we’re almost at the halfway point for NaNoWriMo. Sadly, I am nowhere near the word count I should be at right now (25,000).

Part of the problem stems from my schedule, which doesn’t always allow for consistent writing opportunities. But, really, that’s just a lame excuse for procrastination and writing with my internal editor turned on. This is the literary equivalent of city driving: constant starts, stops, and reverses as you hit intersections, speed bumps, animals, and maybe the occasional pedestrian.

I kid, of course. You don’t hit intersections, you pass through them.

Writing with it turned off is largely the same, only here you don’t stop to check what you’ve hit. Sometimes you don’t even look in the mirror. You get to the end of your destination really fast, but you might have to do a lot of damage control by the time you’re done.

You would think that in the end, both would net you the same amount of work. Unfortunately, each approach just leads you to two different types of problems. For the former, slaving yourself to your internal editor means constantly dealing with self-doubt as it berates you for every typo and second-guesses every character or plotline. It’s constant pressure to please yourself, and anyone who looks at themselves in the mirror in the morning knows how hard that is to do. As a result, (at least for myself) some projects go unfinished, maligned by the internal editor and ordered to the back of the queue while other, more interesting projects jump to the fore.

As for the latter, you might end up with a book so full of errors, inconsistencies, and bad writing that it might be just better to toss it and write the book again. Or write a totally different book.

So what’ll it be? Fix now? Or fix later?

I know what my Editor always says: Now now nownowgoddammitdon’twriteanothersentenceuntilyoufixthattypoNOW!

On the one hand, when I finish my book I’d like it to be as perfect as possible with little revision. On the other, I’d like to finish the book PERIOD.

I keep telling my Editor to take a vacation. It’s NaNoWriMo, take a day off. Take a month! But the workaholic just keeps wandering back into the office, hovering over my shoulder and telling me I should really, really reconsider that scene with the giraffe and the vacuum cleaner.

Sigh. Yes, boss. Right away, boss.

First steps!

Avi had her first (real, unassisted) steps today! She’s been working towards them for a long time. For the past couple of months she was able to stand up on her own and cruise while holding on to the wall or the playpen. Every so often her parents would give her a hand to hold or support under the armpit, which I think helped her confidence quite a bit.

Today, she was in the Sanrio Room (named such because of all the Hello Kitty stuff, duh) and stood up, as she normally did. I held up the “bait” (an iPod) for her to walk forward. Usually, she would just go back on all fours and crawl to me. But this time, she stepped a teensy weensy mincing step (barely half an inch forward), which was followed by two more eensy weensy steps! All on her own!!!

By the time Flossie arrived to see what the commotion was about, Avi had gone back to all fours. And then after mommy left, the baby stood up and walked a couple of more steps (which mommy also missed)!

Don’t worry, hon. I’m sure that’s not the last we’ll see of her walking.

Time to buy a leash.

NaNoWriMo: Day One-ish

It’s 3 am, and I just completed my day’s NaNoWriMo writing quota. By “writing quota” I mean “can’t keep my eyes open”. Unfortunately, my numbers count for day 2, not day 1, since I submitted it after midnight. Oh well. It’s the total that counts.

I’m really enjoying it so far, though. It’s been a while since I was able to make myself laugh when I write. I got a couple of weird looks from Flossie for that. Sorry babe. Your husband has an odd sense of humor.

More on this tomorrow, when I can actually control my eyelids.


Welcome! It’s kind of appropriate that I should begin this blog now, barely a month after my baby Avi’s first birthday, and on the eve of NaNoWriMo 2011.

Avi’s asleep right now, her limbs so askew that I can’t imagine how she could find it comfortable. My wife and I are trying to move her bedtime up (or is it down?) to 9-ish (or even before-midnight-ish), and we’ve had a little bit of success (and I mean a little).

I’m writing by night light, which is honestly when I get most of my “fun” writing done. I’m using this quiet time to get myself pumped up for NaNoWriMo.

What’s NaNoWriMo? An internet event that challenges you to write 50,000 words of a novel in one month. This is the first year I actually had the guts to join, so I’m pretty excited. Anybody needs a NaNoWriMo writing buddy, just add me. My nick is “ItsThatGuy”.