Friday, 30 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 29

Daily word count:  1,017 ??
Final word count:  53,794
Verified and got the trophy!
All I can say is always make sure you have MORE than enough words to qualify.
Scrivener says: 51,387
4theWords says: 51,779
Nano website says: 53,794
What? [2k difference?]
And that is literally downloading straight from 4theWords and copy pasting it into the verifier via a Word doc that coincidentally says my total is 53,760.
Four methods - four different numbers.
I… it’s me, isn’t it? Kid extra just wailed ‘how do you do this?’
I don’t KNOW. Okay?
But what I can tell from the stats is that even though I started late, I got ahead of that line in the first week and stayed there. 

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 28

Daily word count:  1,017
Total word count:  51,387
All credit to 4theWords - even though I passed the 50k mark yesterday, this morning I sat down and banged out a few more words because I didn’t want to break my streak.
To qualify you have to write 444 words per day. That’s not a huge amount. But per day that’s 162,060 words a year. Which is a whole book, or two shortish ones.

Look at that blue streak… wait, is that why it’s blue, because streaks are blue in the saying?
But it was ‘talk a blue streak’, wasn’t it. *checks Merriam-Webster*
I am correct ^^
Huh. From now on, I am typing a blue streak.
I have invented a new idiom.
Sure, sure, AM.
I had better verify my win before the time runs out. Remember that year I failed by under 300 words? Ah, good times. $$
In other news, Sydney is not only alarmingly cold for November but today it is also under water. We have had four times our monthly November rainfall in ONE storm with 100mm (or 4 inches) in 90 minutes. Imagine what that’s doing to the city? In better news, my roof *crosses everything* is NOT leaking.
I think… I mean I’m standing under the parts that used to leak straining my ears to hear even a single tell-tale drip … and I reckon it’s good. &&
More story ideas:
An Irish amateur football team has issued an apology for a "grave and unacceptable mistake" after it falsely reported that one of its players had died last week.
Omg… why? Who thought that was a good idea? Who had to pretend to be dead? How did that work? What did their families and partners think? That they were idiots, obviously…
So many story ideas…

^^ blue streak definition (2) a constant stream of words, example: talked a blue streak
$$ it was NOT good times; it was the worst of times…
&& the tell-tale heart is SO much more atmospheric than the tell-tale drip, eh? But I am also getting very deaf in my old age. What? Who says I play my music too loud?

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 27

Daily word count:  2,334
Total word count:  50,370
I was determined to finish today. *you can do it AM*
*waves pompons*
But my PC is just grindingly slow at the moment. Remember how I started Nanowrimo with computer problems? I guess my tech has read all the plotting books I have, as it seems to want to end as we began. *side eyes PC* This is called ‘mirroring’ just in case you were wondering what the term was.
See? I’ve read ALL the plotting books.
But I did it!
Now, I’m not sure I’d be able to copy and paste my work into the damn verifier… I had better spend the rest of the day ‘cleaning’ my PC.
And having a celebratory glass of wine.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 26

Daily word count:  935
Total word count:  48,036
I shushed a man today.
I was trying to buy an item from a store catalogue. I had tried my local store and found they had none on the shelves, there was none in stock (out the back), they couldn’t order it in for me, and couldn’t get it sent over for me from another store that they could tell from their ever so convenient computer system had TWO of the item I wanted.
Note that there was a good dozen of those ‘take this tag to the cashier’ tags. It sure looked like they had them for sale.
“Why was it in the catalogue, then?” I asked the cashier.
The man rolled his eyes.
“Story of your life, eh?” I supplied.
He told me which stores had stock. I worked out which one was closest to me, and the next morning I phoned it to make sure they still had the item.
When the man answered the phone and asked what I wanted, I said, “I’m just checking if you still have an item from the most recent catalogue.”
I expected him to say a lot of things, what I did not expect him to say, was, “What’s a catalogue?”  %$
I explain.
Everyone in the room is now actively listening.
He put me on hold.
Now, while I’m on hold, I’m processing the conversation and I get that what he is doing is asking someone which department to put me through to, to help with my enquiry about catalogues.
Oh, dear. We’ve gone seriously awry here.
I wait…
He comes back on the line and he launches into a hurried explanation about how he doesn’t know which department deals with catalogues, and I say, “Shush.” I honestly didn’t know how else to stop him.
He stops talking.
Every head in the room turns.
“Wearable fitness items,” I say very clearly. &&
He puts me through without another word.
Kid 2 looks at me. “Mum… you shushed someone.”
I explained. I had to stop him before he wasted more of his time.
Look, I don’t know… Maybe it was his first day; maybe the call interrupted him doing something else; maybe he hadn’t had enough coffee. I know I hadn’t - it was early-ish. Maybe he was tired of people calling about that particularly rare and half priced item?

%$ what SHOULD I have called it? Mail out? Junk mail? I don’t know.
&& New step counter. That cow stole at least 2 kilometres from me in the last 12km hike that it swore was only 10km long. It’s going in the bin.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 25

Daily word count:  4,376
Total word count:  47,102
Not a bad day.
My desk is in the corner of a large room. I have a standing desk as well but what I don’t have is the space to put up things on the walls. I love index cards but I can’t spread them out anywhere at the moment.
The dining table is currently occupied by a four person Warhammer 40k game…
Months ago I picked up three super light corkboards from Kmart - one for each Act. But then I didn’t know what to do with them; I had nowhere to hang them on the wall. But, I had an idea. I thought I might be able to hang them off an Ikea Ivar book ends that slide onto the shelves and voila… it worked. If I hang them sideways.

In a truly mind hurting example of my brain function, I wrote out the Romance Beat sheet cards from the Gwen Hayes book, and then edged them in washi tape that matches the colours of the Scrivener template she also gives you in a link in the e-book. Purple, red, teal, and orange. Then I dug in the jar and found push pins in colours to match, as well.
Why, brain, why?
Is the rest of my life this terrifyingly organised? No, of course not. *rolls eyes at self*
Given this particular nanowrimo project is a last minute, non plotted pile of words, with a lot of super helpful notes like: then Oliver %% whatever his damn name is said,
OR %% father’s GF,
OR %% make sure you lampshade this earlier;
Or whatever convoluted and vague notes I’ve left for myself, it will take some work to disentangle it. It’s not even in any kind of chronological order. I will have to sit down with the 50k I’ve written and work out what goes where, what can be kept, or edited, and what scenes are missing. And that’s why I’ll need those index cards.
But with less than 3k words left, I’m going to make it, which is 50k words more than I had at the start of the month.
And I saw ANOTHER idea for the file box.
A Japanese woman hired an actor to pretend to be the father of her daughter. After ten years, the daughter still does not know, he is not her real father.
WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING? I swear I’ve read that fanfic. But really, how do you even start untying that Gordion knot. Does he care about the girl? Does he want to be her father? Can they get married now and live happily ever after?
So many questions…
And funnily enough, my nano project is about fake dating, doubling down on the lie, and then how you go about starting to fix it when it inevitably goes wrong.
Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books Book 1) by Gwen Hayes

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 24

Daily word count:  883
Total word count:  42,726
Last night I dreamt I was in a library looking for a book called ‘Hurry up and write, and call a cab we’re late’ which is just flat out rude, brain. My ability to be distracted is all your fault!
The weather has been very weird in Australia; we’ve had cold snaps, dust clouds, and storms so windy they’ve shut the airport. And even though I had my flu shot I’ve clearly got cold overnight and I am now barking like a seal. This is my usual cough, don’t worry about it.
It’s a sound so distinctive I once coughed in a crowded noodle bar in Martin Place and someone stood up and shouted out my name. It was a big call given I lived in Indonesia at the time. [Hi Jen *waves*]
Speaking of brains, more ideas for the idea box.
Someone has the job of being an intimacy coordinator. They choreograph sex scenes for movies and plays, like a fight choreographer does a fight. And this is a good thing; no hands in the wrong places, eh?
But imagine…? Imagine what people think they do with that job? It’s like telling people you write erotica and they think you’re trying it out on your partner all the time. Stephen King is not a serial killer is he? I’ve written fanfiction threesomes with werewolves, not HAD a threesome with werewolves. Werewolves don’t exist.
That reminds me, I am SO tempted to ask the person who stole that story why they posted my story as their own. They are still a member of Wattpad but all their works have been removed. I suppose it would be interpreted as abusive, but I really am genuinely interested in how that works for a person; to steal someone else’s work? I mean, the whole thing - word for word. I’ve probably written paragraphs that sound like other people’s work, and hasn’t everyone written ‘he let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding’?
Speaking of, I saw a Twitter convo on that sentence being shat upon by everyone as trite. It’s a fear reaction: fight, flight or freeze. So it’s a valid thing for a lot of people, including me.

Best Friends share everything - Bella, Embry and Quil
Swan’s mate for Life - Bella, Leah and Paul 

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 23

Daily word count:  0
Total word count:  41,842
I wrote 7,692 words in another project. I know… I know… believe me I am already shouting at myself.
Life with an ADHD brain - episode one million, eight hundred thousand…
The other day I saw an email from a kitchen supply place and it listed a Kugelhopf Pan. I have no idea what that is, so I search it. A few minutes later I’m watching videos on how to make a Kugelhopf cake in your Kugelhopf pan and one minute into that I’m printing out the recipe and searching in the cupboard to see if I have all the ingredients.
Note, at this point I still do not own a Kugelhopf pan. But I reckon a Bundt tin will work just as well, eh?
These women are complaining that making yeast bread is hard. Omg. Have they not ever made cinnamon scrolls? This is just a chocolate version of them stuffed in a Bundt tin. And it’s the easiest thing to make yeast dough in the bread maker.
Quote me on this when I put up a shot of my ugly baking attempts.
Okay, today I am making the Kugelhopf… and it doesn’t look too bad. It liked the bread maker so much there was a chance the dough was going to overflow. But, there was definitely not enough flour in that recipe, so I folded in a bit more before it was stable enough to roll and spread with chocolate.

It got eaten pretty quickly but most tasters thought the cinnamon scroll dough was nicer. Next idea: make a frankenKugelhopf with dough from the other recipe or make chocolate scrolls?
Mmmm chocolate.
And in more articles for the idea file, I saw a story about the provenance argument over a Brett Whiteley painting. It’s titled ‘the artist’s mother’ but it seems like it isn’t Whiteley’s mother, nor is he the artist. Intriguing. There’s a lot of what ifs that could come from that.
Who painted it? Is it a self-portrait and a large hint? What if it’s his real mother?

A mysterious painting - theartist’s mother

Friday, 23 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 22

Daily word count:  612
Total word count:  41,842
I wandered off and wrote words in another project. Goddammit brain, get back here and finish this thing that you started!
I am also listening to the audiobook - Time Travel: A History by James Gleick. It’s fascinating.
Some really huge concepts and it seems to be sucking up my brain power. Leaving me with a very long list of things I clearly need to find and read.
I once tried to write a work of my own that ended up wrestling with time travel issues… and you’ll be unsurprised to hear it’s one of my trunked novels.
I do remember running a scrapbooking workshop years ago when we lived in Jakarta. Kid 1 wandered in and asked, “Mum, what’s the fourth dimension?”
He was six.
“It’s time, honey.”*
“You know there are three dimensions or axes. Let’s say this coffee cup is an object - we can note its place within space by how high it is off the ground and by how far away it is from that wall, and also how far away it is from that wall. Height, breadth, depth. Three axes. But we also need to note how it moves over time… if I drink and then put it down over here… then it has changed its position over time.”
I demonstrated.
“Oh.” There was a pause. “Is there a fifth dimension?”
“Probably, but I don’t know what it is.”**
A longer pause. “So, if we could go to the fifth dimension, then we could travel through time?”***
“Theoretically, yes.”
“Huh.” He took several exaggerated steps towards the kitchen door. “I am moving into another dimension!” he shouted over his shoulder.
“Okay, honey. Make sure you close the door behind you.”
I looked up to see a room full of women staring at me; mouths agape.
Life with an Asperger’s kid, I tell you…

*His year one teacher told me that it was my fault that he was the way he was. Excuse me? He asks you a question, and you tell him the answer. I honestly had no answer to that. Wtf?
** I asked a friend about this, and he said the fifth dimension was basically the fourth dimension crumpled up upon itself. Naturally, I told kid 1 that later.
***years later I asked Kid 1 where he got this idea from and he said The Powerpuff Girls cartoon. Idk… maybe??? He, of all people, never forgets anything [that he cares about - tidying up after himself? Not so much…].
In Gleick’s novel he talks about how our first exposure to the theories of time travel is often via children’s cartoons. Donald Duck invents the wheel, or whatever.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 21

Daily word count:  1,452
Total word count:  41,230
Hmmm… I have to write like 900 words a day to get it done on time. Easy, she says… quote me on this later. I am collecting all the 4theWords monsters by typing up my hand written notes from doing Tim Clare’s Couch to 80k writing bootcamp. Do I have 80k of words? I will soon know. What I do have are some neat ideas I had forgotten I wrote.
It’s very strange to read something in your own handwriting and have no memory of where it came from.
Seriously, if you get an idea, WRITE IT DOWN.
Speaking of ideas, another one for the file marked ‘idea idea idea’, I saw an article about a small town offering the local pub as the prize in a contest with $100 entry fee.
Rather than sell The Shirley, Robyn and Allan Cox have asked people to pay $100 to put forward an idea for the Victorian building.
After a three-month tender process the building will be handed over to the applicant who has the best plan for the pub.
Besides the adorable name, the pub is called The Shirley, what happens to the person with the great idea who gets handed a whole pub with a functioning bed and breakfast? In a small town of 414 people? One of the ideas is a shelter for domestic violence victims. Oh now, the plot bunnies are hopping.
Speaking of bunnies, Lou’s theme from the art exhibition was hares. [Look - it’s close enough to a decent segue. Don’t @ me]
It is okay to put her art here with a link. She uses Instagram until her website is up and running. Now that is a headache I understand.

Lou Young - website  - instagram

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 20

Daily word count:  1,655
Total word count:  39,778
Not bad. I did some garden chores. Why do I always forget that wielding the electric hedge trimmer over my head to get the bushes that overhang the clothesline, always makes my arms shake for … I want to say days? I will never have Michelle Obama’s arms.
It’s hard to type if your arms don’t work.
[Remember this next time, AM] Luckily I got the words in before I wandered off.
And then I mowed the lawn … and coincidentally ran over all the garden clippings. I reckon a lawnmower is just a big sharp vacuum cleaner.
Later I headed off with kid 3 to see the final exhibition for Sydney College of the Arts students. Kid Extra was helping a friend out with her honours project. It looked amazing.
The campus is set up in what used to be the Callan Park Lunatic Asylum for the Mentally and Criminally Insane. It was built between 1878 and 1884 and is mostly sandstone. Seriously half of Sydney is built out of sandstone. Thanks Sydney basin.
Naturally the current NSW government is trying to sell it to developers. Recently the students had a sit-in and won a reprieve. It stays, for now.
Have an out of focus shot of the clock tower. I felt like it was wrong to put shots of people’s art up here without their permission.


Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 19

Daily word count:  5,710
Total word count:  38,123
Oh boy… I broke 4theWords in a big way today. It thinks I wrote 10,665 words. I mean, it’s almost a conspiracy to make my big day look… not so great?
*eyes narrow*
I just don’t know. And then it insisted on giving me the 5k word once daily quest THREE times. Which seems kind of like overkill. Isn’t that the real total added together with the wrong total?
But honestly, you do you. I give up.
Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking a lot about character traits for fiction. How do you make someone up who is VERY different from you? I often worry that all my characters sound, or act, the same.
The house next door is up for lease. There’s been a succession of tenants through, some better than others but none of them stay very long for whatever reasons.
They’d changed agents, the ‘for lease’ sign had come down but on the open days an agent was showing people through the home so we knew it was still waiting for a new tenant to sign on the dotted line. It’s close to schools and transport, it’ll rent eventually.
And then one afternoon I heard a man and some small kids swimming in the pool. It wasn’t the hottest of days and I just assumed it was the new tenants eager to try it out. I didn’t wave and shout ‘Hi!’ over the fence, they were having fun. It could wait for another day.
Odd, I thought. I missed seeing the removal van.
Later in the early evening I went for a walk and I looked at the house from the street.
It’s still empty.
There’s no furniture, no lights on, no car in the garage.
Several days later it’s still empty. It’s become something that I check on, now.
And I wonder: what kind of a person takes their kids and goes for a swim in an empty house? Who would do that?
Clearly that’s a person who is reckless? Adventurous? Criminal? Prone to illegal activities?
What would it be like to be the child of a person like that? Would your life be an adventure? Or, one day, would it all go wrong?
Now, there’s a future book character.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 18

Daily word count:  483
Total word count:  32,413
A bit of a lay day. Life happened. And I found it difficult to write a happy, romantic story where people get a happy ending when others don’t.
I had enough scribbled written notes from the night before to keep my daily writing streak going on 4theWords and then I just messed about. Hey *shrugs* it was Sunday.
So I did my usual things, one of which is checking the Amazon bestseller charts and I noticed a couple of gems in the free chart.

Looks like someone in Australian publishing has done an Amazon marketing course… finally. It’s a self-publishing strategy to give away the first book free, and then place links inside it that send the buyer to your email list, or allow them to download the second book for a discount. I think it’s called a ‘loss leader’ in marketing.
I have ranted in the past about how the big publishers were laughably behind self-publishers with strategy and method. In the past, they uploaded a ‘sample’ of a book with a separate ISBN number, when reading a sample is already built into the Amazon system. They cluttered up the system and got angry one star reviews from reviewers… like me.
Both these titles are older ones, and first volumes of a continuing series.
But they may be in trouble for that Prada title.
The Devil Wears Prada: Loved the movie? Read the book! (The Devil Wears Prada Series, Book 1)Kindle Edition by Lauren Weisberger
And they still don’t quite have it together; Pillars is under Romance.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 17

Daily word count:  1,370
Total word count:  31,928
I am in one of those ‘wait… it’s the WEEKEND already’ funks. How did this happen? Time it rushes past me…
I was thinking about time last weekend. My friend and I went back to our old uni campus for a long walk about the grounds. Our old residential college is still there… and spookily enough it looks exactly the same.
The first year of our attendance was 1982. It was a LONG time ago.
But there were still vending machines where they always where. I swear the dining room chairs are the same ones. We managed to sneak inside without a pass card and the corridors smell like they used to. Smell is a huge sense for memory triggers. There are now security screens on the lower windows. But we used to put our back against one wall, feet against the other and ‘chimney’ up to friends’ rooms on the levels above. Crazy, eh?
It was one of those odd age-related experiences where you expect things to be very changed, and you can’t quite deal with it when they are not. 
It was lunchtime and a couple of students sitting outside the dining room noticed me take a photo.
“I’m just taking a shot of my old room,” I explained.

They exchanged looks and asked the obvious question. My friend and I told them when we had lived there, and asked them a few more things. And then one girl said, “I know, you never regretted a day living here.” Or something like that.
Now that’s a difficult question to answer, if it even was a question.
And while I was thinking about it, we veered off into a discussion about how the Student Union building had disappeared and where was the bar? I was the Vice President of the student Union at a time when it was a decent venue for bands, and we got distracted. I told them The Cure played Macquarie Uni in 1981 and one guy just lost his shit.
But the girl’s statement stayed with me. What I really should have said was kind of the same speech my year advisor gave us all when we were filling in the university admission forms in my final year of High school. He said the friends you made at university would be your friends for life. They would be your dates and maybe your spouses. And like all know-it-all seventeen year olds, we rolled our eyes and made fun of him.
I married the guy who had the room next door to mine. We didn’t date at the time, but things changed later. Other friends married other college people. We all stayed friends for years. A big bunch of us continue to meet up for drinks, dinners and get-togethers. And it crosses years of attendance, types of degrees and schools of learning. We were, and are, all sorts, because College mixed us all up together. It was a crucible.
In Orientation week, residents of previous years welcomed us, looked after us and arranged the parties; the wine and cheese nights. Ugh.
By the time uni classes started we were solid.
I remember meeting up with an old school friend from junior high school who attended the same uni. It was only the first month of classes but after two years apart, and an immersive College experience, we had almost nothing in common. She hadn’t changed, I had.
But I didn’t know how to explain that to this young woman.
I just hope her experience is similar to mine. Without the heartbreaks. Those always suck.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 16

Daily word count:  940
Total word count:  30,669
Passed the 30k mark. Yay me!
I had a bit of a TV day. A while ago I picked up a DVD boxed set of every episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot with David Suchet. It’s a beast. All 17 series plus documentaries. With a screen time of 5050 minutes, the only way to deal with it is in small chunks. Like EVERY large project, eh?
I have finally got through the first three series. It’s super educational to learn story-craft. Christie was a master. And I often scribble down notes or ideas for my index card idea box.
Some of the early writers, like Anthony Horowitz, have gone on to bigger and better things of their own. And it’s also fun to see some famous faces among the cast.
Plus, kid 2 and I watched another episode of Midnight, Texas. Lemuel and Olivia’s bed is amazing. I did get distracted by her hair as well. ‘Who did that three level fishbone braid for her? There is no way she could do that herself.’ Kid 2 rolls eyes at me.
Then we stayed on for the first episode of A Discovery of Witches.
Oh my… it is possible that this blog could just become a thirst blog for that show. Twilight was how I started writing and those vampires were sexless, fangless, khaki wearing bloodless disasters. Matthew Goode as an educated professor vampire is totally my vibe. *fans self*
The library has the books!
What’s that Japanese word for a never ending ‘to be read’ pile?
Tsundoku (Japanese: 積ん読) is acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one's home without reading them. The term originated in the Meiji era (1868–1912) as Japanese slang
That’s it. Sighs.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 15

Daily word count:  1,940
Total word count:  29,729
Oops I forgot to do my morning blogpost for the day before. Better late than never, eh?
Well, I think this draft is officially what they call a ‘discovery draft’. That’s just a fancy term for making it up as I go along. Which can also be called ‘pantsing’ - ie. writing by the seat of your pants.
I know the ending I am writing towards, so it’s not entirely pantsing. There’s a plan; it’s just very vague (or even blank) in the middle.
I’m plantsing? Some odd combination of plotting and pantsing?
More articles in the daily news from that reality TV dude for the fodder mill.
*rubs hands* mutters ‘excellent’ to self.
I’m off to the library to return a book that I did not entirely enjoy. *shrugs* that’s life, eh?
Then more writing. I am starting to plan my 4theWords day. I need to collect more of these items, so I need to target these creatures… it’s an incidental thing to me what time and word count they have.
Wait… THIS is how it works! Sneaky buggers.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 14

Daily word count:  3,985
Total word count:  27,789
Huh… big day, eh?
I have written more than one path to the ending. It fits with the several meet cutes at the beginning… lol.
I had a week of medical appointments for various reasons. I will confess that I won’t buy trashy gossip magazines but I will definitely read them if they’re in the basket in the waiting room.
For a storyteller they’re chock full of ideas.
Article #1
An interview with a star of several reality TV shows who has just written a biography. He’s talking about his struggles with mental health and life in the ‘real’ reality.
Story brain: oh hey, maybe that’s what happened to Elliot’s brother? I finished one of my three-quarter written stories with an image where this obviously Aussie bloke walked up the road to the house wearing jeans, no shirt, and carrying his Akubra hat in his hand. I can see him; I just didn’t know where he’s been.
What if he’s totally burnt out after being in a reality show? And at his lowest ebb, he’s gone to his brother.
Article #2
The Bachelor, interviewed before the filming of the most recent series. His greatest fear is having regrets.
The series is done now, and boy does he have regrets. It came down to the final decision between two women and he chose… neither. You can imagine what social media did to him.
Story brain: more fodder for the reality TV brother idea.
Article #3
An advertisement for a property in the Southern Highlands. A mere steal at $2.3m. The Sydney property market is one of the most expensive in the world and the median price is $1,144,217 - that’s after prices FELL for several quarters. For instance, the house I covet on my daily walks is valued at $4.3m. [Do I have expensive taste? Yes, yes I do.]
Someone is going to live in this house. I just don’t know who, yet. But now I have a floor plan and photos.
Article #4
Dishing the dirt on his family history, a choreographer tells how his boyfriend of five years married his sister after they broke up. They’ve been married for more than twenty years now and have kids. He’s clearly still salty about it.
Story brain: OH, COME ON. If I wrote THAT in a story people would tell me it was ridiculous. Imagine the Christmas dinners; just imagine them!
And people keep asking me where I get my story ideas from…

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 13

Daily word count:   1,501 ** [according to 4theWords, 1,419 according to Scrivener.]
Total word count:  23, 804 on Scrivener.
After more emails with the 4theWords programmer they will reset my word count to whatever it actually is… slightly above the total word count for the project rather than the 67,568 the program has chosen to give me.
I do NOT deserve a special head-dress for doing 50k in a week.
Do NOT tempt me with these things.
There’s no way they can fix the record list of creatures I ‘defeated’ when I really didn’t, so I guess that’ll work. Whatever… it’s certainly making me write. Now I just need to collect claws, and feathers. I have a quest, people!
Checked this morning and it’s done. 4theWords is VERY quick on responding to issues.

Eh, close enough.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 12

Daily word count:   1,623 ** [according to 4theWords, 1,744 according to Nano and 2,122 on Scrivener… I give up…]
Total word count:  22,385
I’m still just stringing together scenes with dialogue. Bad plotter, AM.
I’m above the line and some of that free-writing may be useful later. I guess?
So the movie we saw Sunday night was Bohemian Rhapsody… and I’ll admit I was in the minority; I didn’t like it. It took me a little while to think over why.
They did their homework on setting up scenes to match reality, the actors looked eerily like their counter-parts, there were a few funny scenes, Photoshop and special effects were good.
But the editing was odd, and some lines were excruciatingly bad and I’m sure the current band members retconned a lot of their own history. I know it was a Franken-movie with multiple changes of actors, directors etc. but… I thought it somehow made the story dirge-like and sad. Who was that moustache wearing Irish Yoko Ono?
‘It was a movie,’ my friend said. I know what she meant, it wasn’t a documentary, but I’d still like it to comply with some decent story rules.
And from a story point of view, it was a very odd decision to mash all the final moments into one morning in time. They basically said he was diagnosed with AIDS, found the guy he’d been trying to trace, took him to tea with his parents, announced he was in love, then headed off to do Live Aid, and at the concert they tried to shoe horn Mary into the middle of his triumph, break one million pounds in charity donations, and embrace new love IN ONE DAY. And you can’t tell me his parents had never seen him perform before that day! Is that what they were trying to imply?
It irked me. My friend said all she could hear was me shuffling in my seat and making annoyed noises. I cry at greeting card commercials and these scenes did not make me shed a tear.
I really feel that it could have been so much better.
It basically just erased, or fast forwarded, his final love story and that was the one I wanted to see; Freddie and Jim. I felt cheated of the happy in Freddie’s ending.
I also missed picking Mike Myers as the record producer who rejected them… that’s some kind of nod to Wayne’s World, who of course have the iconic head banging Bohemian Rhapsody scene and probably contributed to a lot of younger people hearing the song. Especially resonant as Myers fought the movie producers to cough up the cash for the rights to the song. It was that song and no other.
We pick our battles, like the band did in the movie.
And we are remembered for them.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 11

Daily word count:  471** [according to 4theWords]
Total word count:  20,641
I had only done a couple of wordy monster battles Sunday morning when I was enticed away by long walks, coffees, lunch, swimming laps, dinner with friends, and watching a movie.
I was ahead so I didn’t feel bad about it.
And I’ll be back at it on Monday!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 10

Daily word count: 10,242** [according to 4theWords]
Total word count: 20,297
**Scrivener says 2,456 and Nano says 2,456 OMG a WIN! They agree… *the crowd cheers* people throw confetti* YAY
And yes, I messaged 4theWords to let them know about my new glitch. And I did not collect the super special headdress for writing 50k because my total of 64,444 is just not right. It’d be like cheating at solitaire. [some days I am so rulebound]
Well, just to add to my reading list another reserved library audiobook pinged its way onto my e-shelf. Dangit. Hear me now, next time I will only borrow available books… sure, sure, AM. If the book is new or popular, then it’s going to have to be reserved. You KNOW you will succumb to this particular temptation.
Yeah… I yam what I yam.
Points to me, I returned Nordic Myths early, so I messed up someone else’s reserve queue order… maybe. I’m still not sure what the etiquette on this is.
Kid 2 and I took a break and watched ‘Midnight, Texas’. Man, that show is just plain silly, but it looks good whilst it’s doing it. I read the book and I’m not even sure how they got half the cast from the book I read, but never mind… Charlaine Harris has almost all of her series made into TV shows these days. I haven’t seen any of the Aurora teagarden ones but they’re on the list.
In an attempt to lighten some of my PC’s load, I archived five years of my Goodreads Scrivener file. It was enormous. And probably super memory hungry. So let’s see if it functions better with that load shuffled off. I can always use the Goodreads site itself to see what I thought about a particular book or author. I do write notes to myself, sometimes, but it’s rare. It’ll work!
Thank goodness I realised I could hit ‘save as’, rename it archive and just delete the files I didn’t want to archive, whilst keeping the other file unchanged, then going into it and deleting the archived files. Is it a lesson for the day that ‘it’s easier to delete than it is to copy and paste’?
It’s not much of a challenge to ‘it’s better to burn out than it is to rust’.
Wow, now, I’m showing my age, eh?
Keep writing!

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 9

Daily word count: 31,405**… [Scrivener says 1739, and Nano says 1751]
Total word count: 17,841 … maybe?
LOOK, I don’t KNOW, okay?
** oh, my god 4the Words, NO!
Exactly HOW have I broken this program so badly??? Seriously?
According to its own file word count, I have 17,719 words in my Nano2018 project, which is another total again.

What on earth?
I honestly do NOT know how I can make this many different word counts. I mean, it ought to be simple, right? You count the words! You just have to count the things between the spaces…
At any rate… in other news, I managed to finish the audio book for Norse Mythology and I immediately started the next one. It’s ‘Call me by Your Name’ read by one of the stars of the movie, Armie Hammer.
Sighs happily.
Kid 3 just gave me one of their trademark ‘looks’.
‘Okay,’ I blustered. ‘I bought the ebook, and I’ve read it, I read the screenplay, and now I’m listening to the audiobook. It’s different.’
‘Mum, we still haven’t watched the movie that you already bought.’
‘I know… it’ll make me cry.’
Thus, the look.
Gah, it will. I know it will. So I have to be in the right mood for it. [I am aware that this makes no sense… it’s me.]
I have a whole pile of movies I have actually purchased on DVD and then been unable to actually sit down and watch. You know, like: Children of Men, A Solitary Man, Black Swan, the Fountain…
I will have to contact 4theWords again and tell them of my new glitch. It’s actually trying to give me an award based on my word count, which just isn’t fair. I didn’t earn it; not properly.
The day I do Nanowrimo in nine days, you’ll hear about it, believe me!

Friday, 9 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 8

Daily word count: 4,283… [no, it really wasn’t. Scrivener says 2,283]
Total word count: 16,090 … maybe?
It was a normal-ish day… I still squee at opening the pantry and seeing my new light. I battled many small, wordy monsters.
My glitch with 4theWords continues, but oddly in my favour. I set out to battle one of the November specials: Snowfell is a monster wearing a George RR Martin cap with a small dragon along his shoulders. He requires a target of 1667 words and gives you 1440 mins (one day or 24 hours) to defeat him. I did it in three minutes.
Yes, I am a blindingly fast typist.
*blows on knuckles*
No, no I am not.
My peculiar skill of breaking computer programs popped up again.
Yay? Sighs.
I had some appointments today. I guess it’s a good thing when I am so busy scribbling dialog for my Nanowrimo novel in my notebook that I forgot to get off the train at my stop. Thank goodness, I realised as I got to the next station. I had to get off, change platforms and go back again. I was early enough to still make my appointment on time.
I swear it’s a coping mechanism of ADHD people to be so early to make up for any disaster that may conceivably happen. And sometimes does…
At home, we had doggy day care; Kid Extra dog-sits most Thursdays and today was no different.
In my continuing battle with technology… no, actually I don’t mean to make it a war; tech just doesn’t like me, attacks me, and breaks its own head against my invulnerable hide. Or something like that… Shrugs.
I broke Microsoft Outlook today, as well.
*Sighs again*
And people ask why I most often choose to write in a notebook with a pen. Notebooks don’t crash.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 7

Daily word count: ???
Total word count: ???
Oh boy… it is on brand for me to break computers and programs. 4theWords insists that I have written 5,632 words today. I haven’t; I know I haven’t. There are only 3,802 words in the document. It shouted at me when my file got over 10k and insisted that I make smaller documents within a larger file project. So I did that half way through yesterday. So I really can’t have written more words than there are in the document, eh?
But I have a backup! I started a Scrivener file to hold my back-ups and to work as a double save file. It auto backups to google. Call it overkill if you will.
Woot. I am all over this. Competence, my middle name is competence.
*Opens Scrivener file *copies* cuts* pastes*
Hmmm… well, NOW let’s see what Scrivener says.
Daily word count: 6,273
Total word count: 13,807
Oh, for fuck’s sake. Now I’ve broken Scrivener, too?! There is no WAY I did half my word count today!!?
*face palms*
When I put a total count of 13,807 into the Nanowrimo site I get a daily increase of 1,993.
That’s it! I give up!
*Throws hands up in the air*
Sighs deeply. I’m over the graph line; nothing else matters.

Yesterday, I forgot to add that I was also baking sourdough late at night. Compelled by an electric fan-forced oven and the imminent arrival of electricians.
Yes. I resurrected my starter.
Look at that.

Now that is a decent loaf. A bad photo, but a decent loaf.
For the record, the cast iron pot is a 5 litre one from Ikea.
The electricians came, and efficiently did everything on my list. There is a light in my pantry. I make a happy squeal noise each time I open the door.
PS: all credit to 4theWords. I messaged them to say there was an issue with the site showing a streak - the blue line that shows you have written daily. I know my step counter streak makes me walk every day and I have long been looking for some type of word counter that would do the same. Today, it’s fixed. Well done, guys.

There’s a 30 day trial but if you want to sign up, use my code, and we’ll both get extra crystals. [You use crystals to buy subscription time.] It’s SPYKA97002
There is also a wiki here if you want to get some idea of how it all works:
4thewords Wiki

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 6

Daily Word count: 4,421
Total word count: 11,814
Had to hit the keyboard hard today. And for the most mundane of reasons.
Tomorrow the electrician is replacing a lot - I want to say most if not ALL - of my downlights. I have sixteen downlights alone in the back room and only two of them work. And it isn’t the bulbs. I am so tired of cooking by candlelight. I swear the other day, Kid 1 broke a glass and he just turned on a switch that hasn’t worked for five years… and it worked. Everyone just stared at the ceiling in disbelief.
Over the years we have struggled with roofing leaks and as lights got damaged there was no point replacing them until the leak that damaged them was repaired. Right?
I am forming a theory that home ownership is like a never ending game of triage. Which thing is likely to fall apart first? I’ll fix that.
Maybe it’s just my house? The longer we live in it, the more we realise the renovations were done by some tragically gifted amateur who watched too many hours of Renovation Nation or the Block or whatever TV show. It was all very superficial.
Things are weird… very, very weird.
We eventually worked out the roofing problem after multiple attempts. The way climate change is affecting Australia is to have long periods with minimal rainfall, and then to have some wild and woolly storms - as my mother used to say. We’d get the roof repaired and then wait weeks or months for rain. During which we couldn’t really tell if the repair had worked, or not, until the rains came. Every attempt so far had not worked. A very large Tupperware container was permanently sitting under one light fitting.
So… after the last effort, I am fairly sure (quote me on this) that it is now repaired. *crosses fingers* *crosses legs* *crosses everything*
Thus, the electrician. He has a very long list of things to fix.
I always think it’s the worst kind of sign when your electrician peers into your power box and says, “Oh, that’s odd.”
Odd is NOT a word sparkies should be using.
The automatic cut out switch required by law in Australia was there… it just wasn’t connected to anything, so it wouldn’t have actually worked if somebody stuck a knife in the toaster.
Although really, this house is much better than my last house. I’ve been using the same electrician for nearly fifteen years, and when he came to do the quote he turned to his new apprentice and started regaling him with stories of my last house. I am memorable.
[Oh, god. It’s me, isn’t it? I’m the common element here. Sighs.]
I have often thought I ought to make a voodoo doll of the bloke who did the property inspection because he has brought me much pain. It’s only fair if he has some shooting pains in the back in return.
But… back to the writing. Given the probable absence of a PC tomorrow I wrote like a demon today. So, okay, I have three different versions of the ‘meet cute’ in there. It doesn’t matter; it’s a draft not a finished product. I’ll work out later which one works better and cut the others. Perhaps after cannibalising them for some good dialog lines.
It’s very dialog heavy, which is often when I can tell the characters are really speaking to me. Sometime later in edits, I will realise I haven’t even described an important person, like the hero.
I’m onto it in this draft. I have left my usual reminder key to come back to something (which is two percentage signs.)
I have a note that says: %% describe hero.
Few words. Much wow. So pro.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 5

Well, day 5 started with noticing I spelt Nanowrimo wrong in the heading of the post for day 3. A true pro, I tell you.
Word count: 1849
4theWords is actually working. I’m getting better at finding things. There is definitely something buggy about the ‘streaks’ - the markings when you write every day. It says I do a one day streak each day. *frowns*
One of the things that works with attempting any large task is to break it down into smaller tasks. I remember telling someone that 1670 words for one day of Nanowrimo was just three (and a bit) lots of 500 words. Oh, they said, I can do 500 words. Right. Did you see the brain shift there from ‘I can’t do that’ to ‘that’s doable’?
And I think I know why this works. I saw a YouTube video by Will Schoder on the Zeigarnik Effect discovered by Bluma Zeigarnik. [you go, girl]
In psychology, the Zeigarnik effect states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks.
Unfinished tasks and open loops occupy our brains. Hemingway famously used to stop writing mid-sentence so that the next time he started he knew how to finish that sentence. And then he’d write the next sentence, rather than sit there and stare at the page. That unfinished sentence was an open loop.
So each time you defeat a small monster in a wordy battle, you get a closed loop. Job’s done, as a small peon would say. And there are some monster challenges that are just 50 words. The app also tempts you to do quests and challenge larger monsters with bigger word counts.
Blame the Zeigarnik Effect.
I guess it also explains why all that cramming you do before an exam falls right out of your head afterwards. You set that loop to be ‘just for the exam’, not ‘remember for life’.
Once you know what works for you, you can use it!
I’m using this blog diary the same way. I have challenged myself to sit down and write this, which is at least some words on the page, and it makes it oddly less challenging to switch tasks. I’m at my keyboard, I just need to tab over there.
Onward! For the words!

Will Schoder - Why it's so hard to leave things incomplete