Thursday, October 27, 2011


My writer friends know what that title means. For the rest of you, I will try not to bore you too much with the details. November is National Novel Writing Month.
Or a challenge for the insane. Because, you see, if you are sane November 1st, you surely won't be on November 30th. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. That's 1667 words a day. Words out of thin air, because you are not supposed to actually write anything until 12:01 am Nov. 1st. It's all based on an honor system. There are no judges, no referees, no umpires. You are just expected to follow the rules. And at the end there is no big cash award. Only the satisfaction that you did it. Oh, there is a certificate you can print off and some sponsors who offer items for the verified 'winners'.
"Why would you do this, you ask?"
"I don't know." How's that for a definitive answer. When I first heard about this challenge, I thought to myself, "Self, you should do this. You've always wanted to write a novel. But, there was always excuses. Not enough time. What if I can't do it? What if it turns out to be a load of stinking crap?" But, then I thought, "What better way to kick your butt in gear."
So five years ago, I jumped into the fray. I soon found out I wasn't alone. There were over 100,000 people taking the wild ride with me from all over the world. There is a web site with awesome support and forums where you can commiserate with others. And everyone cheers everyone on.
That first year I only made it to 24,000 words. But, that's 24,000 more words toward a novel than I had October 31st.  Every year after, I've made it to 50,000. My 2009 novel is finished and currently in the hands of an editor in New York. And, I plan on finishing a couple of the other ones.
You would think I would be confident going into this November. But, for some reason, I'm not. Because I know how hard it is. I know that by week two, I'll be exhausted and ready to quit. And, I know that at some point I'll get behind and have to type my fingers bloody to finish on time. My son thinks I'm crazy. And maybe I am. But it's a good kind of crazy. Right?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

To Nap or Not To Nap

That is the question. I took a nap today. I don't know why. It's not like I've had a hectic or tiring weekend. I haven't done much of anything. But, for some reason, my body and mind decided I might need a nap.
I don't like taking naps. They are for babies and old people. And I'm neither. Quit snickering. I'm not that old. And, I don't often feel better after a nap. I often feel a little bit worse. Groggy and listless. I  find myself wanting that time back. But, alas, it is gone.
I think men are much better nap takers than women. I used to know a guy that believed naps were just about the best thing going. I don't think many women feel that way. Especially when their man is lying on the couch, snoring. Be honest, you look at him and scream in your mind. "Get up you lazy fool. There's a million things to be done around here."
I'm going to justify this nap with the fact that the Cardinals play tonight and maybe by taking that nap I can stay up late enough to see the end. Us old people go to bed pretty early, you know.
I've inserted a poll on the side of this post. If you don't mind, take a few seconds and answer it. I'm curious if I'm alone in my disdain for naps. Thanks!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Okay, I can hear the groans from here. Another post about sports. I apologize to my non sports peeps, but the Busch Stadium Squirrel has captured my imagination. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, here is a short synopsis. There is a squirrel running around Busch Stadium. And I do mean running around. During last Tuesday night's game, he ran around the outfield and under the wall pads before disappearing. During Wednesday night's game, he ran right across home plate as the Phillie's pitcher was delivering the ball. And he wanted interference called. Hehe.
So what's the big deal? It's just a squirrel right? Missouri has lots of those pesky critters, even a few white ones near Marionville. They're just something to eat for some folks in these neck of the woods. Before you groan and roll your eyes at me, I have to tell you, I've had some pretty good squirrel and dumplin's. But I digress, this isn't a culinary post.
This squirrel has become a mascot of sorts. He even has his own twitter account @BuschSquirrel. He's become the rally cry for an unbelievable season.
And he is different. You know how most squirrels seem as though they can't decide which way to go? They stop in the middle of the road, turn around, go a few feet, then turn around again. Before we squish them with our cars. Wednesday night, this one ran a straight line. And fast, too. (Sign him up Tony. The Cards could use a fast runner) It was like he was on a mission. He knew what he wanted and the quickest way to get it was a straight line right into the stands where he scared the pants off some people.
And here comes my metaphor for the day. We need to pursue what we want just like that squirrel. Don't hesitate, don't turn around. Head straight to it as quickly as we can. Because there's a chance, before we know it, we could be caught by the exterminator (self doubt and criticism) and forced back into our cage.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Life and sports

I like sports. Pretty much all sports except Nascar which is just a bunch of guys (and now 1 girl) turning left and a bunch of fans waiting for a crash. Oh, and I'm not crazy about pro basketball. That's just a bunch of guys going back and forth and dunking. Other than that, I'm pretty much in. I'll watch golf, tennis, soccer (yes soccer), horse racing (yes that's a sport, the sport of kings actually, look it up) college basketball and pro football. (not really into college football, but I will watch it - note to NCAA - get rid of the BCS).
Maybe it's my only child upbringing and the fact I had to devote equal time to womanly interests and manly interests. I wasn't so much into laundry and cooking. I liked fishing with my dad. But I've quit trying to figure it out a long time ago. One of the advantages of age.
My favorite sport is baseball. Maybe because I'm a little bit lazy. It's a slow game. It's my speed. People who don't watch it just don't understand. They don't get the nuances. The signals from the dugout, the positioning of the players, the signs between the catcher and pitcher. It's really quite a complicated game that looks easy. Kind of like life. Easy. You breath in, you breath out. but it's everything between those breaths that matter.