Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Made it ... again

Fifty thousand down, who knows how many to go

Once again, this year, I have succeeded in the National Novel Writing Month challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

This time, however, I'm farther from being finished than I have been before. As usual, it's a murder mystery, but this time, I didn't even get to the murder until after more than 51,000 words.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Over the Rio and Through the Bosque

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick note to wish everybody a happy Thanksgiving. I’m now less than 2,000 words from making the 50,000-word NaNo challenge.

Pat, Gerald, Dulce, and I are now at Five O’Clock Somewhere, along with a guest. My high-school best friend lives in Maryland, but her daughter is a freshman this year at New Mexico Tech in Socorro. Since Maryland is too far to go for the weekend, we have her with us; she’s so much like her mother that we’ll call her “CC” (for “Carbon Copy”) for the purposes of this blog.

We started this morning with Pat driving to Socorro to pick up CC, and then picking up Gerald at the airport when he arrived from Arizona. Next, we drove to Santa Fe, to the house that Fuego, MaK and ZoLee are living in while Fuego works on the spaghetti Western. My parents were there as well, and a couple of people from the movie crew, and an old friend of Fuego’s and his significant other.

Because there were so many people there, we had been warned that there wasn’t likely to be much in the way of leftovers. So we planned ahead; we got a second turkey that we will be cooking tomorrow. We have two young people on hand who are seriously tired of dorm food.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Coming up for air

This NaNo thing is going well this year...

Status report: I'm still alive. I'm about two days ahead of the word count to be on track for 50,000 words. This weekend, I have attended two write-ins with fellow NaNoers, and I have used those write-ins to maintain much-needed momentum.

When I get to 50,000 words, I will still be a long way from finishing Murder at the Little Theater; I'm not even sure I will have arrived at the murder yet. But I'm feeling very good about this effort. I've deviated from my usual formula, in which I create a totally unlikeable victim -- this year, the victim is rather likeable. That makes the novel harder to write. But it means that more interesting things are happening.

Back in the Real World, I now have a big pile of papers to grade to make up for having devoted my weekend to wordcount. Oh, well, I guess there are sacrifices that have to be made.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

I went to a garden party …

…and it’s all right now …

Yeah, I’ve been mostly incommunicado for the past two weeks, and it’s been because I’ve been immersed in the effort to write a 50,000 word novel (well, really, a novelette) in 30 days. But Tillerman has issued a challenge, and I will take time away from my word-count-amassing efforts in order to live up to that challenge.

He has asked us to tell the world who, in the world of sailing, living or dead, real or fictional, we would invite to a dinner party, and why.

The first person I would invite, no matter what, would be Zorro, my mentor-coach-trainer-friend who means so much more to me than I can explain to anyone, even Pat. He featured prominently in a previous writing challenge, as chronicled in A Peak Experience with Team Zorro (part 1), A Peak Experience with Team Zorro (part 2), and A Peak Experience with Team Zorro (part 3).

I know that a lot of people find Zorro to be difficult to relate to. He has an ego. Before he was a sailor, he was a world-champion pole vaulter, and he would have been in the Olympics if the U.S. hadn’t boycotted the 1980 games. In 1977, his pole vault clinched the NCAA track and field championship for UTEP. Later, he took up sailing, and he was in the running to be on the Olympic team in sailing. He likes to win. He’s driven, and often impatient, and those characteristics often rub people the wrong way. But I love him, and I just couldn’t have a dinner party, especially a sailing related dinner party, without him.

Of course, I would have to have the great Tillerman himself at the party, but even more important, I would want to be sure that Tillerwoman was there as well. I have, alas, not been all that great of a gardener, but I greatly admire those who are, and who, like sailors, work with what Nature gives us, whether it’s good wind and water or good rain and topsoil, to bring experiences of beauty.

I would have to have Edward at the party – and his family as well. He shares my affinity for pirates. And his kids look so stunningly, astonishingly much like Pat did when he was that age, I keep thinking Edward’s just borrowed some snapshots from the family album. Maybe there’s some long-lost link.

Because of my affinity for boats and music related to boats, Adam would have to be there as well. If he could bring Jimmy Buffett along, that would make the party even sweeter.

Oh, yeah, I should also probably invite my husband, Pat, and my son, Gerald, to the party.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The bells, the bells!

They just don’t stop ringing!

The tribulations of living in an undecided household in a battleground state: The phone just won’t stop ringing. Monday, I was trying to grade a huge stack of papers, plus I was hoping to rack up some word count for NaNo, and we had incoming calls on average every ten minutes. It was frustrating, since it kept me from concentrating on the papers I was grading. I was tempted to disconnect the phone, but then, there might have been an important call coming in.

Part of the problem is that among the three registered voters in this household (the cat isn’t registered to vote – she’s not old enough yet), we have one Democrat, one Republican, and one non-party-affiliated. That means both parties make phone calls calling on their own member, and both of them are also courting the non-affiliated voter as well. And then one of us is a union member, so we get calls from the union, and we have ourselves on mailing lists for a couple of charities and environmental groups, so we get those organizations’ phone calls as well.

And then there are the calls on behalf of individual candidates, often in the form of pseudo-polls bashing the opponent.

Yes, we let the answering machine take all of the calls, but still, every time one comes in, it’s a distraction. I ended up going in to work extra early to get away from the clamor. And I didn’t make any progress on my NaNo novel at all – I’ll just have to make double progress tomorrow.

I will be soooo glad when this election is over. And no, I still haven’t decided who I’ll vote for yet, at least on the Presidential ticket.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

This year's NaNo start

so far, so good

As those of you who know me know, in November, I participate in National Novel Writing Month, in which I write 50.000 words in 30 days with the goal of having something resembling a novel at the end. I have done this for the past 4 years, and I have signed up to do it again this year. This year's opus is Murder at the Little Theater, and here are the first 87 words:

“I don’t get it,” Bunnie said, for about the forty-seventh time.

“What’s there not to get?” Sid asked, with an exasperated tone in his voice. “You love Lancelot, you’re beginning to realize you love Lancelot, and you’re scared about where this will lead.”

“I still don’t get it,” Bunnie said. “I mean, I know this is an important scene and all, but, I, well, I don’t get it.”

“Look, we’ve been through this before. You ought to know this all by now. We open in three weeks.”

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