Monday, November 23, 2009

Murphy's computer

I have suffered a rash of computer problems lately. And not just here at home either. It has not helped the writing at all (I turned in one article close to a week late).

The primary computer problem with the desktop computer is that it is a dinosaur. Combine that with my wife's impatience and it is not a good combination. If there were not things that we could only do with it, I would be attempted to smash it with a very large hammer.

What surprised me was the problems I had with accessing the internet from a friend's house. I was babysitting her daughter all weekend while she was taking reflexology classes. In the end, I just gave up trying to access the internet.

Computers---Can not be a modern writer without them, can not be sane writer with them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting closer to the semester's finish line

Turned in the first of several rewrites I have to do this semester. Started with the last paper done, but easiest to fix (or at least, I think it is going to be the one that turns out that way). Only four more rewrites to go...unless this one comes flying back at me.

And at this point, if I die suddenly and complete no more work, I have an A- in Chemistry for the Consumer. I should be able to get all the way into a solid A, but it might be tight.

Plus thankfully, the editor of the student newspaper gave everyone a couple extra days to complete our articles. I will admit that I placed a rewrite in front of my newspaper commitment.

The semester is winding down...the finish line looks like it is a mile away.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Summer vacation

Last night, my wife came home and said that she needed my opinion on something. For those who know my wife, you know what her asking me for my opinion means. She has this funny habit of asking me what I think she should do when she has already decided what she wants to do. Often, I just step aside and let her have at it; as long as she is not going to get seriously hurt why attempt to stop her?

Turns out that she has a chance to go on a trip this summer to Costa Rica, and learn some Spanish in an immersion environment. And I say good for her. We have no kids, just Secret Chiefs (aka the cats), and I could use a couple of weeks of peace and quiet to write this summer.

I know that there are some people who are just going to be appalled by the fact that I let my wife do whatever she wants. Honestly, why should I attempt to control her life? Some of these people believe that I am mooching off of her. I think that they are forgetting the fact that I am taking out student loans to pay my half of the bills (or as much as I can pay with the little bit that I am actually getting).

Be lets be real here. I let her do what she wants to do because she is happier when she has a goal to pursue. And she lets me pursue my weird goals; heck, she is the one that encouraged me to go to college when I suddenly become forty and unemployed (ok, part of that was expected).

And in this case, I could use the vacation too. Two weeks, perhaps three weeks, of noninterrupted writing sounds like a good summer to me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meeting for rewrites

Wednesday, I did my mandatory meeting with Professor Jeff Franklin concerning rewriting one of my papers. It was less painful than I thought it would be. I had put this off as long as I could. I would not say that it is against my religion to do rewrites...but I really dislike the process. Perhaps even loathe it.

Which is why I almost burst into flames when I learned at the beginning of the semester that twenty percent of my grade in Gothic Literature was tied up in a in I am required to actually rewrite one of the papers I turned in if I wanted any chance to get a decent grade in that class. My Colorado History also requires a rewrite, though it is more of a rough draft for that one.

Rewrites are not necessarily bad. There are times that they are needed. This semester, particularly.

I have the voice of a toxic writing friend and toxic writing enemy echoing in my head still from the beginning of the semester. (The difference between a TWF and a TWE is that the friend actually cares about you, the enemy is just a nasty piece of work wanting to see you crash and burn.) The sad part is that they are both relatives (interesting family I have: none of us are happy unless everyone else is miserable). Basically, I am wasting my time as a writer (I do not think that they got the memo that I am actually a hack), as an astrologer and occultist, and as a college student (the note that they gave me that I am wrong to pursue a career as a teacher was just silly---obviously they do not realize that is more my wife's idea than mine).

So periodically, this semester I would be working on an assignment, or sitting in class, and wonder why I was bothering to even try. I turned in some pretty bad work this semester. Just surviving the semester will be a major accomplishment with some of the low days I had lately. Essentially, everything I have written this semester needs whacking with a rubber mallet to bring it up to even my low hack standards, not alone something that looks like it was actually written by an university student.

As much as I do not want to, now I need to click "publish post" and get to the rewriting. The gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments you hear will be me bemoaning the fact that life as a writer is harsh, and Thoth and Seshet are just being mean to me today.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Only 3026 words so far, many more to go

Well, I have only done 3,026 words so far for NaNoWriMo. I should be almost at twelve thousand words (11,669 to be exact) at the end of the day if I was on schedule. Basically I have written six nights for a little while each day, and have only accomplished like two days worth (a touch short actually from even that short goal of 3,334 words).

It is enourgh to drive home the point that I might not even be capable of being a hack. But then again, I had homework, newspaper articles and finished off reading Dracula. I might not be a great writer, but even on a busy week I hacked out three thousand words. I guess that is something to smile about.

In the old days, we used to travel by couch and buggy, or maybe horse and buggy, horses, boat, or just on foot. There are some that believe that we used to (and still do) travel by fairy circle, stone hedges and by flying around on broomsticks. The latter has always puzzled me. Why would anyone trust their existence to a slender piece of wood with straw tied to the end? I do not care how strong of a candle you light, the rarity of the feathers that you tie onto it, or the awesome power of your charms; it is still just a stick being held up by the power of positive thinking. I will stick with mechanical means of travel, thank you no. Then again, given the security line and the reliability of pilots nowadays, going to a broom closet and selecting your own means of travel might be preferable if it wasn’t for the exhaustion that making a broom fly would result in.