Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NaNoWriMo Report 12 And The Last Line

Well, this is it.  November 30, the last day of NaNoWriMo.  I will close this 2010 year and this portion of the project with 172 pages and a word count of 51, 814 in 15 chapters.  But still not finished.  Now its time to read what is written, flush out what didn't work and make what was produced from scratch even better.  Might call it a "vision check."

Here are the last two sentences: "They turned and walked back to the wall, leaving him at the gate.  One of them looked back, across the dark."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

NaNoWriMo Report 11

50,022 words!  Word-count goal is met in 15 Chapters!  Honestly, I am not finished and will be taking the rest of the month to get the novel to a functional place before going into the editing phase.  At least I can say, "whew!"

I am happy with it overall, but there is still so much to do.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Remember, the holidays are for families, so remember this amphibolie during this festive time of year: "include your loved ones when baking cookies!"  Happy Thanksgiving! 

Speaking of pilgrims, when did American accents diverge from British accents

Beware that dreamy and disembodied after-turkey feeling.

How to miss the moment with your iPhone.

Get some perspective with this "Scale of the the Universe."

If you are watching movies for the holidays, don't miss the Architecture of Inception.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NaNoWriMo Report 10

Well, as of this moment, I am at 46, 060 words in 13 chapters of my novel.   The goal is at least 50,000 words.  I believe I can finish this book in three more chapters, Bob.

Anybody want to project a guess toward my final word-count?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NaNoWriMo Report 9

43,295 toward the goal of 50,000 words, at least.  Started Chapter 12 this morning and have to start thinking all the more seriously about the end.  I am, for the most part, pleased with what I have but I am also keenly aware of spots to be edited.  Got to get this story right!

Here is the first paragraph of my novel, "The Ghosts of Christmases Past":

"Scrooge was born, to begin with. There is no doubt about that. As to the specific time hardly anyone gave thought to take notice.  On one side of the clock Christmas Eve was laying to rest and on the other began to rise Christmas Day.  The clock had barely begun to toll the midnight hour when she finally began to deliver and the sound of his cry finally mingled with his mother’s own, both together drowning out the final stroke of twelve--hers a cry of pain and joy at his birth and his a cry of simply being born.  He was a Christmas baby, a true cherub and an angel, heralding his own arrival in the world with screaming, kicking, trembling fists--a real gift indeed.  These were not the best of times to be born, especially as each day was filled with the concerns of war.  This tot merely joined the ranks of thousand thousands who were already shaking their fists in the world and at the world.  God only knows what kind of man he will turn out to be and what mark he would make on the world, in the end."

Friday, November 19, 2010

NaNoWriMo report 8

37,393 words towards the goal of 50,000.  I hoped to be finished with Chapter 10 "yesterday." 
If you already know what the book is about, please don't spill the beans.  Please.

Anybody want to forcast a guess as the final actual word count, as I plan on overshooting my goal?
Any guesses for the number of chapters?
Any suggestions for the movie?

Next week, I will post a summary of the book.  How 'bout that?

Thursday, November 18, 2010


 . . . but have you heard of a Seuss Army knife?

Visit some major cities of the world in 360 degree, zoomable format. Don't get dizzy!

From the highest point on earth, to the very lowest

Enjoy the fall colors of Colorado.

They ask a great question at the end of this video.  Wonder what the answer is?  It's pretty obvious to me . . .

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

What Is It Like to Visit Mecca During Hajj?

November 14 - 18 is the date of the Muslim pilgrimage called "Hajj." This is a very interesting 15 minute video on what Muslims experience while on Hajj to Mecca.

For a more detailed and personal look at Hajj experiences, watch the documentary, National Geographic: Inside Mecca.

I have found a very interesting verse in the Qur’an, and I have a question for Muslim friends. The Qur'an says: ‘If you are in doubt as to what we have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before you.’ (10:94) This verse says that Muslims should consult the other holy books which were revealed before the Qur’an. Would you like to study the other Holy books with me?

Friday, November 12, 2010

NaNoWriMo report 7

29,125 words!  Chapter 6 is HISTORY!  I feel like celebrating with some alphabet soup or something.  You know, get stocked to "hopefully" knock out two more chapters this weekend . . .

NaNoWriMo report 6

25,977 words written so far toward the goal of 50,000 (48 pages, single spaced; 78 double spaced--spacing is not a concern at this time).

At this writing I am halfway through Chapter 6 and my main character is only twelve years old.  Fifty-two more years to go . . . I wonder how much I will overshoot my wordcount goal?  Anybody want to venture a guess?

My fingers hurt.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Think you wear a size 32 waist? Think again. Apparently clothing manufacturers use a “vanity size” on your pants.

Greg Gordon has posted "95 Thesis to the Modern Evangelical Church." 

Yes, Farmville is an actual place.  Not sure what to think about that.

Old White Man Turns Into Young Asian Guy Midflight.

Tim Challies gives a book review for a book that just got catapulted high up on my reading list: "Handel's Messiah: Comfort for God's People."    And while you are waiting for your copy, please enjoy this:

"On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation's "Random Acts of Culture" at Macy's in Center City Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers. . ."

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

NaNoWriMo report 5

Ok, I had a real scary few hours there.  Here's what happened:

I woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head (you know the routine) and as I was walking out the car (I was not late), I took my keys out of my pocket and turned them around to find the car key (I have many keys).  Something did not look right.

My flash drive was gone.  My novel was missing!

I put my coffee cup in the van, started the van so it would defrost the windshield (no ice-scraper yet) and went back toward the front door looking to see if I'd dropped it.  Nothing.  Tried to go back inside, but the door was locked.  Went back to the van to get my keys, looking all along the way again in case I'd missed anything, went back inside, looking around.  Kissed darling wife again ('cause she needs lots of kisses) and thought I would ask her about my flash drive when she was more awake.

When I got back to the car, my panic subsided because I remembered that I'd uploaded my documents onto Google Docs after my last edit.  First opportunity, I checked Google Docs--yep, there were all my chapters and notes (whew!).

I went home for lunch, we looked around and still did not find it.  Bummed.

Sat down at my desk, opened my e-mail and lo and behold!  Someone found my flash drive outside and turned it in to the Faculty Secretary!

Come, rejoice with me for I have found my flash drive that was lost!

  • Cumulative Word Count 20,771 toward my goal of 50,000, which means there are 29,229 total words remaining. 
  • The suggested number to write per day is 1667.  I am at 2,597.
  • Suggested end date: Nov. 30.  My current rate could have me reach my goal on or about Nov. 20. 
So much to do and so little time!

Monday, November 08, 2010

NaNoWriMo Report 4

I could not go on.  I nearly finished chapter 4 and hated it, despised it.  So I wrote another chapter that became a much better chapter 4.  Does that count as editing?  Oh well.  Hoped to get a good start on Chapter 5 over the weekend, but realized I have some other things to look into first.  That's what happens when you plot.

Cumulative Word Count 19,033
Total Words Remaining 30,967 (goal is 50,000)
At This Rate I Will Finish On Nov 19, but its not gonna happen . . .

Sunday, November 07, 2010

1831 James Wilson Globes

ht: Anita, for pointing me (us) to this short video on the James Wilson (1831) globes.  I am related to this James Wilson, not the James Wilson of Pennsylvania who signed the Constitution.

Friday, November 05, 2010

NaNoWriMo report 3

Feeling like Snoopy, sitting on the doghouse with the typewriter.  One particular cartoon stands out in my mind:
Frame 1: "It was a dark and stormy night."
Frame 2: "Suddenly, a pirate ship appeared on the horizon."
Frame 3: "A maid screamed, a door slammed."
Final frame: Snoopy looks up, "the twist in the plot will baffle my readers!"

Current Word Count 14, 709 toward my goal of 50,000
Words per Day to Finish on Time 1412
Total Words Remaining 35,291

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Transformational Leadership, transactional leadership and President Obama.

Go nowhere, in style!

So that no scapel is left behind . . .

There's a creepy android hanging out in the hospital . . .

Kewl video (ht: Tim Challies):

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

NaNoWriMo report 2

  • Current Word Count 5912
  • Words per Day to Finish on Time 1575
  • Total Words Remaining 44088
This is breaking me out of the academic mold.  I am so accustomed to writing academic papers that (in an overly simplistic way) merely address a topic and reflect in some manner on that which is reported.  Novel writing is something else!

My latest experience is thus: I have direction I would like to go, create the scene and draw out the action in my mind.  After pouring myself out, I have an entire paragraph!  Boo.  Now, I set it down, come back and look again at that paragraph, which has now become an outline in and of itself.  I am fleshing out and am causing to happen through characters and dialogue.  I've even seen characters leap onto the page I had not planned!

For example, I could say there was an assassination attempt on the King; or I could describe an afternoon on the playground where a group of children through their imagination make a play of the news regarding the King, as they try to understand it.  I liken this to when I was six or seven years old and the principle of our school came in and asked us, "what is 'Watergate?'"  Can you imagine how a child answers that question?

Right now, my biggest hurdle is making my main character suffer because when he has suffered, he must suffer some more.  And then some more. 

It does not make sense now, but it will.  Oh, it will.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

NaNoWriMo report 1

Here's a picture of my "Novel Bible."  These are the notes (so far) that I will be consulting as I write my novel in one month

I am learning very quickly.

I began with a more mathematical approach to this project, thinking that I could break the project down into smaller portions based on clean divisions of the overall project: 50,000 words = about 1667 words per day, or one scene per day.  I then set an initial goal of 1 chapter per week, or 5 chapters at the most.

Two words: "Epic Fail!"  Of course, I'd rather do this two days into the project, than later.

My first chapter was subdivided into eight smaller scenes.  I just finished one scene and realized that the scene in itself is one whole chapter!  If I squeeze eight scenes into one chapter, it would produce rather lengthy and cumbersome chapters.  If this pattern holds true, then my novel will be not five chapters, which sounds simple enough, but as many as 37 chapters!  That's a little over one chapter per day!

Perhaps the "Tolstoy" style would be appropriate here: five major "books" or parts, and the appropriate chapters accordingly by scene.  Sounds reasonable.

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