so i finally sat down and wrote some. i had another 3 or more hours today that i could have used, but i just didn’t. i was struggling with trying to get to the interesting parts (the parts i want to write) but i didn’t want to skip. it didn’t help that we saw pride and prejudice last night. i wanted to turn it into a regency romance and dress them up in pretty clothes and rework the whole thing. but it wouldn’t work. so i sat and stared at it for a while until i found something interesting. and then i wrote that. and when i looked up it was 2 am. i almost reached the wpd goal at the beginning of the month. it actually wasn’t that hard, and only took about 3 hours. i should really set aside more time and get caught up. it could happen. maybe mont 50k, but possibly 30 by end of month. we shall see.

(oh, and i’m counting all these words for 11/12, even though it’s technically 11/13. i didn’t stop and do a wordcount at midnight)

total words: 5288
words “behind”: 14,714
wpd needed to reach goal: 2484 (initial wpd was 1666)


the writing is going not so well. i got stuck with my fabulously outlined story after 600ish words on day 1. day 2 i couldn’t get it going, so i abandoned it for a sudden inspiration. 730ish words into that, i petered out. what looked like brilliant, engaging prose the day before looked really lame the next. day 3 i pouted, certain that i was doomed until ryan gave me a good “you could get caught up if you hang out with a bottle of wine one night this weekend” pep-talk. well, he didn’t suggest the wine, but i’ve found historically that it helps.


i took a break or two at work (plus the metro link ride) on friday to add a bit to story one (i got some cold-med induced inspiration day-3 night–i told you drugs were good) but most of day 4 was spent having a friday night, which was fine cuz day 5 (today) was going to be catch-up night. except our saturday day got full of stuff/dinners out with parents so now it’s 10:35 pm, and i have to get through all of the pre-writing activities (also known as “procrastination”) before my brain calms down enough for me to write.

i started with the lovely little status bar on the right (which for now is a total of both stories). next up is some diablo 2 to get some jitters out. i should also do some laundry and dishes, but it’s so late that i won’t. that’ll be part of tomorrow’s procrastinations.


tomorrow starts national novel writing month, otherwise known as nanowrimo. this will be the third year that i’ve attempted to write a 50,000 word (heh. for a moment i typed page) novel. it ends up being 1666.6 words a day, which may or may not sound like much to you, but this entire post is only (369) words long and took me about 25 minutes to compose. so yeah. it’s a chunk of time, even if you can type like a fiend and can just pour the writing out of you. and that never, ever happens when you want it to.

smarty-smart me made a lovely xls file that not only tracks my progress, but re-calcuates my words per day needed to meet the goal based on how many words i’ve written so far. it can get discouraging after a few days of 500ish words when you know you’ve suddenly got to start churning out 2500 word days if you hope to make it.

the first year i started out fairly strong (for about 5 or 6 days) and then got stuck. the second year (last) i couldn’t even get my idea off the ground and started writing a few random things before abandoning the process entirely.

this year, however, i’m a step ahead. i’ve already got a (legally allowed) outline for my story that is 12+ chapters long and i have a good idea where it goes from there. the trouble may be getting it all wrapped up in 30 days. i’ve never finished a story before. my largest effort is currently hovering around 96K words, and it’s only about 2/3 complete. it has large, gaping holes and i have no way to connect the pieces, which is why it’s been repeatedly abandoned, but it’s there, a 1+ MB file of original words, if not necessarily original characters.

anyway, yeah, i’ve got an edge this year. i spent some time a few days ago looking at some of the story ideas i’ve fleshed out into an outline and found one i think i like well enough right now to spend a month with it.

so, if you don’t hear from me until december, you know why. :)

i am so fired…

so here’s what happened. every so often (about once a quarter) my company puts on these town hall meetings where an executive talks for about an hour on the state of the company and then spends a half hour answer questions from the audience. this year, they’ve put together a system so that you can watch and ask questions from your desk, which eliminates the need for one of these in every major city in the network. it also helps squish some of the rumor mill that follows these around. if we all hear the same message at the same time, there’s less ability for speculation to turn into “fact.”

it is part of my employee progress report to attend these as best i am able to. because there are a few other “as best i am able to” status indicators on that report that i refuse to do, i make a point of watching these when they come up. i should point out that i am part of a very large IT group and that was the target audience for this town hall, and that the executive who gave the presentation is the chief technological officer.

a couple employees on my team who watched the most recent one were so concerned by what they heard (specifically the general attitude of the executive leading the presentation) that they wanted to voice their opinion up the chain of command. my boss, in turn, put out an open call to the entire team looking for feedback. this is what i wrote:

I would prefer this candid commentary from Mr. Executive to some sort of misleading “everything is fine” illusion, but I think these town halls aren’t alleviating employee concerns. There’s very little in the town hall that I can pull as an example of something that was obviously inappropriate or offensive, but I was left with the message that I was not trying hard enough, did not love my company enough, and should not expect anything for my increased devotion. Was that the goal?

A couple of very brave audience members asked questions that impressed me, specifically the one about being “heavily persuaded” to sell products to our friends and family we have no faith in, and the bright flight the company is currently experiencing where we’re losing young talented employees who could be helping shape the future of this company. In both cases, Mr. Executive presented a 3-fold response. 1-That the issue did not really exist (customer service is improving/promotions and progressions are being allowed no matter what we’re being told). 2-That it was beyond his power to do anything about it (marketing builds the packages/our supervisors are “screwing up” (direct quote) by not identifying and keeping these talented individuals) 3-That the true problem lies within the individual employee (you should take pride in our products or not be a part of this company/you should have developed the ever-changing set of skills or business knowledge if you expected the company to value you). That last one, in particular was a slap in the face to the thousands of employees who have devoted their entire careers to the backbone of this company.

This method was frequently used by my ethics teacher in college when one of his students attempted to argue against a point he was making. Invalidate the argument, absolve yourself of any accountability, and discredit the source. It infuriated me when it was used by a man determining my grades. It frightens me now that it’s being used by someone determining the future of my company.

These are my thoughts. I’m probably less concerned about how having my name attached to them will affect my career at this company than I should be.

yesterday, as i hit the send button i was looking forward to the shock and awe i might get in response. this was my chance to tell them what we’re all thinking. i wasn’t just doing it for me, i was doing it for all the people i’ve talked to in the past few months who are so dissatisfied with this place. i was doing it for my mom and all of her friends who look so incredibly disheartened when i describe what’s happened to the company they loved.

today, after my boss said “that’s great, do you mind if i send it to the whole team?” i’m more than a little freaked out. it’s not that i take back anything i said, it’s just…i think i just wanted to be heard. i didn’t think of any potential repercussions, and the ones swimming in my over-active imagination right now are…frightening.