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Robust McManlyPants on Average Display » 2007 » November

November 2007


36,530 words. I had 37,000 as today’s goal but I ended after a chapter I really enjoyed writing and decided it was better to stop there than squeeze out 500 words I might not enjoy or that might keep me writing past the start of tonight’s Karazhan raid.

Oh, World of Warcraft, my dark tempter.

The lesson I have to re-learn every year: Cup a Joe’s on Hillsborough Street is a never-ending freak show where no one has any respect for personal space. Also, I aged seventy five years in a moment when my first thought upon seeing the hottie barrista with his jeans sagging down was, He should pull his pants up.

I’m terrible at updating anywhere – here or NaNoWriMo – but I’m past 29K words. My goal for tomorrow is to hit 37K.

I went back to Ma Bell today for a potluck lunch in honor of my old boss’ imminent departure for other, greener pastures. I got to see my absolutely favorite old co-worker, hang out, gossip, chat. I had a really, really good time.

For some reason – many reasons, among them my eternal shyness, the knowledge that at least a couple of them have found and have read this blog in the past, weird issues I have about maintaining the boundary between work and personal lives thanks to having watched my father flirt with breakdowns and ulcers and stress and anger when work refused to retract its fangs – I was absolutely terrified to go. I dunno. How dumb is that? I got to see a lot of folks I haven’t seen in a year, people I was glad to see. Most of them I got to exchange about two sentences with, but it’s good to see them anyway.

I don’t open up a lot at work. The Boyf and my friends know me as garrulous and gregarious Michael, chatty and whimsical and eager to crack a dumb joke Michael. Workmates tend to know me as Vulcan Michael, who really does just want to get some tickets done and get some people out of his fucking face. That’s something I’m going to have to get over, eventually. It was, after all, when I really think about it, my father’s own desire to build that wall and save the best parts of himself for us – and he did and continues to do so, being a garrulous and gregarious father, philosophical, kind, compassionate, intellectual, relaxed with us in a way he never could be with or at his work – that drove him to stretch himself so very thin trying to straddle both lives at once.

Weirdly, this brings me back full-circle to NaNoWriMo. One of the characters in my novel this year, an old vampire who is the annoying and creepy funhouse mirror version of Withrow in terms of his own philosophies of isolation and secrecy and retreat, lives in the plant where my father worked in reality for 35 years. The plant is gone now; in the novel it’s slated to be torn down at some indeterminate point in the future.

It was a factory that made X-ray film and over the decades my father worked there the production areas – the actual factory floors – operated in total darkness 24/7. There were a few times, when I was fairly small, that I got to go visit him at work on bring-your-spawn-to-work type days. I would have to hold his hand and be led around in the dark. There were tiny red lights up at the corners of any room or hallway that, he told me, people would get used to. They could see just fine in there, eventually. He would walk in there every day, live in darkness for 10 or 12 hours (he worked a crazy-ass swing shift schedule), in total isolation from the world.

When people went around corners in those areas, the custom was to announce one’s presence by quietly saying, “Watch, watch!” as one neared the corner. That way, another could know to get out of one’s way. These days, in reality, I go to work and spend 8 hours in a room that’s nearly pitch-black, more lit by computer monitors than anything else, kept that way because the company thinks it looks cool. I sometimes fight the urge to say, “Watch, watch!” when I round a corner.

Yeah, I’m going to have to get over that Work Michael/Home Michael thing some day.

20,980 words. Aw yeah. I love a Saturday of writing.

11,795 words, which is behind the 1,667/day standard but it’s probably OK given I’ll hit 13K at lunch tomorrow and the halfway point sometime this weekend or Monday night.

Mmmmm. So tasty. So sleek. I dig. OpenOffice barfs like crazy but who cares? I have Pages. Delicious, aromatic Pages.

3,435 words. Some of them don’t count (IMO) because they’re chapter titles and quotes and such. Still, not bad for Day 1.

In the format of Character: Beginning State, Story, End State.

Withrow:

The Page of Swords
The Ace of Cups
The Four of Coins, Reversed

Roderick:

The Page of Swords, Reversed
The Ace of Wands
The Heirophant

The Transylvanian:

The Hanged Man
The Page of Cups, Reversed
The Ten of Wands

And with that, it’s 1:04am on 1 November, 2007, and I have a prologue to write. I love this month.