Titles Are Hard to Come Up With

Words barfed: 2,506 (150% of Daily Goal)

Projected Finish Date: December 1, 2012

Total words: I found a neato widget that will tell you right here —>

I’ll keep it short and sweet.

I love writing, I love that I have accomplished almost 10,000 words in 6 days, and I love discovering more about my characters.

It’s something everyone says, and even I wrote a post awhile ago about building your character. But when you are trying to excrete (let’s see how many ways I can use bodily functions synonymously for writing) as much as possible, the characters who have lived their whole lives in your subconscious take on life of their own. For me at least, Nanowrimo’s slave driving has forced me to let the characters out of their predefined boxes.

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That’s, Like, a Lot of Words

Words barfed: 2,081 (125% of Daily Goal)

Total words: 7,123 (86% on Monthly Pace)

You know whats funny?

I spent over a month earlier this year (in fact, right before my first blog post) writing the first chapter of a book. In my mind, it’s pretty good but still has a lot of work to make it viable. About 6,000 words.

In 5 days of NaNoWrimo hell (4 days of actual writing, if you can call it that), I’ve managed 7,123 words. Granted, I am so embarrassed over the quality that I had to yell at my wife to get her to stop reading over my shoulder. She thought I was being mean, but really I was just trying to save our marriage. No way she’d still respect me. Even am not reading what I have written until December 1st.

Or maybe I will start my editing on December 21st, since that is apparently when the world is going to end. That way, if sifting through my NaNoWriMo barf turns me into mush, I won’t be mushy for long.

Cheers to getting back on track.

May you all be possessed by demons. And I mean that in the best way possible.

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Laziness Strikes Again

A summary of my past two days…

Words barfed: 1,872 (56% of Daily Goal)

Total words: 5,042 (75% on Target)

Percentage of words written while I am asleep: 50%*

*This could be inaccurate. I was actually asleep when I calculated it. In fact, I am asleep as I write this.

Late Sunday night, I am torturing myself on the couch, trying to eek out enough words so that I don’t feel like a failure. I know that getting too far behind is kryptonite to Nanowrimo wannabes, so I am at least making sure I have the pace car in my sights.

But this means I am periodically doing word count checks so that I can finally let my poor, ravaged body sleep.

In the middle of writing a sentence, I stopped and checked. Exactly 1,666 words. Goodbye novel, I am going to bed.

I’m not too worried as the sentence probably sucked anyway.

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Come Back Demon, Come Back!

Words barfed: 959 (58% of Daily Goal)

Total words: 3,170 (95% on Target)

If I wrote this much everyday, I’d finish in: 52 Days

Percentage of words written on my phone: 100%


If that last statistic gives you any insight, yesterday was not the best of writing days. Today and tomorrow we are celebrating my wife’s birthday so I can’t imagine them going much better. Hope ya’ll are faring better than I.

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If Only Nanowrimo Lasted One Day

Words barfed: 2,211

Percentage of Daily Goal:  132.7%

If I wrote this much everyday, I’d finish in: 22.6 Days

Likliehood of me writing this much in a day again: 3%

Dare I say that was easy?

For some magical and happy reason, I was able to write with abandon. If a word didn’t come to me quickly enough, I simply moved on with a less-than-perfect substitute. I didn’t correct myself, bother with spelling, or anything. I must pray that the writing demon who possessed my body last night comes again.

It was a promising start… but I just have to make sure overachievement won’t provide the excuses to underachieve.

Time to go check on how ya’ll did…

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I Am Scared of the NaNoWriMo Beast

The month of doom begins today.

Since writing my previous post about doing NaNoWriMo, I have been looking for ways to get out of it. It is the natural path my body and mind take when presented with a daunting challenge requiring diligence, hard work and time. I’ve realized it is a common thread in my life, in both little and large things. Here are just a few ways in which I defer to average-acheivement:

Deciding whether a wall needs two coats of paint or just one. Hell, deciding whether I need to paint an entire room or just part of it. Case in point, my hallway.

Halfway painted hallway

“I will just end it here, then finish up tomorrow. Or never.”

The gray is supposed to continue into the hall. My intentions were to do that… about 4 months ago. It is conveniently sufficient as it is, and will remain so until my wife complains and/or reads this post. Besides, who spends time in a hallway? I’ve intentionally placed nothing there to stall you in your journey. It is a hall of ways, not of standing. Move along or yellow will burn your retinas.

School. A particular math class had a 4 hour lab worth 10% of my grade. I figured it was a test to see who was sucker enough to actually spend 4 hours a week on only 10% of their grade. Never went to the lab even once. My reward was a C, or in other words, I passed. Mission accomplished, give me my degree.

“Eating right” and his evil companion “working out” have also been slighted by my penchant for achieving the minimum. You know how everyone complains about that one guy who eats like crap and stays the same? Who, when he finally decides to workout, makes rapid progress? Well, I’m that guy. But rather than take advantage of my genes/youth/being male, I use it to fuel and justify a weekend of jelly donuts and sugar cookies. Seriously, yesterday I took a donut out of my garbage and ate it. Super-motivated-me threw it away and then regular-me wondered if we should taste it first. Regular-me is a tricksy hobbit.

And now we come to writing. In all my avoiding, this pains me the most. I could tolerate being a flabby, overweight, dropout with no paint on my walls if I had a book to show for it. It’s not for lack of trying, just lack of trying for a long time.

I love to write and I love to create. I love tricky plots, I love fantasy worlds and I love imagining people devouring my book.

On the flipside, I hate sitting down to write. I hate being stuck on a scene. I hate thinking my book is going nowhere. I hate staring at a blank screen. I hate that any excuse is a good excuse to not write.

For all of those reasons, I am afraid of the 1,666.6666666 words I have to write today (trust me, I will stop at .6666666 of a word). I think that’s why I am doing it.

I’m hoping that by force barfing unreasonable amounts of words each day, I will lose weight. And while that probably won’t happen, I will lose my filter, my Excuseomatic 5000 will explode in futility, and I will learn to write.

Good luck to me.

And good luck to my friends below, who I am rooting for with selfish ulterior motives that they will root for me.

Julia Swancey
Ruth Rainwater
Dominique Amara
D.L. Aiden

(let me know if you would like to be removed from my root list. I will potentially be annoying)

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Job Hunting? Don’t Interview Like a Chooch

I’ve read lots and lots and lots of blog posts dedicated to the art of interviewing for jobs. In fact, entire blogs exist to document the adventure.

Frustration has also rode my back, cackled in my ear and slapped my arse while I did the job-search-thing, and never more so than straight out of college. I assumed, like most recent graduates, that employers would throw money at my fancy pants degree. I’m so fantastic, they won’t be able to pay me enough.

Week 1: Applied for one, maybe two jobs at the most prestigious of companies. Waited patiently for said companies to drool over my resume and contact me with gifts, bribes and personal monkey slaves.

Week 2: Slightly dismayed, I sent courteous follow-ups and applied to a few more. I’ll just have to turn down their offers if they aren’t going to get back to me quickly (please hold your laughter until the end).

Week 3: Thoroughly dismayed and semi-broke, revamped my resume and shotgunned it to every opening in the USA. Sorry, not you Montana, you’re…….. Montana.

Week 4: Um, hello? Is anyone going to get back to me? Okay, maybe I just need to broaden my idea of the ideal job. I can use my math degree anywhere! “Sir, I wouldn’t stand there. I just mopped and that floor has 100% probability of being wet.”


Week 3,092:

What I looked like after 6 months of job searching and interviewing

I’ve had the chance over the past few weeks to interview job candidates and never have I learned more about interviewing than by being on this side of it. My oozing benevolence requires that I leak a few tips.

1. Do not say that you are seeking a “physically challenging job” when you are applying for a desk job. You didn’t read the posting. My only physical challenge is candy.

2. You might think you are soooo “on”. That you’re killing it. But interviewers can see right through canned/safe/traditional answers, especially if they aren’t your true inclination. And do you want to be another “hard worker” or “go-getter”? Or do you want to provide a unique experience that shows me those qualities?

8. If asked “What are your interests?” don’t ask that we come back to the question while you think about it, unless you are a robot.

A. Don’t get bullet-numbering wrong on your resume.

5. Don’t change your stance because it’s contrary to the interviewer. I interview with a coworker and we play good cop/bad cop, but in the same room. He is cold as ice, no smiles, no jokes, while I pretend every word out of your mouth is pure gold; you’re thrown off by his questions but never feel like you bombed because I act like an idiot.

Bad Cop: What is your ideal work environment?
Interviewee 1: I like to work in small groups.
Bad Cop: So it is a problem that we work in groups of 30?
Interviewee 1: Oh, 30 is still small. That is perfect.
Bad cop: Sometimes it is groups of 100.
Interviewee 1: I would still like that!
Good cop: Personally, I love small groups of 1000! High five!

Interviewee 2: I love that you guys are dressed so casual. My last company was really straight laced, all of them in shirts and ties.
Bad cop: It’s actually casual Tuesday.
Interviewee 2: Oh, well, I like dressing up too.
Good cop: Oh he’s kidding. It’s not casual Tuesday.
Interviewee 2: *nervous laugh* You almost had me, I was worried there.
Good cop: Yeah don’t worry. Today is Wednesday, right?

The take home lesson? Don’t back pedal. If you’re caught just once, we can’t trust your answers as anything but telling us what you think we want to hear.

6. Easily the most important point, so imagine I am putting my hand on your shoulder and gazing into your soul.

Be yourself.

That sounds so incredibly stupid, like past things I have said, but “performing” for an interview is one of the easiest things to spot. The facade of “I’m the perfect candidate!” looks more like “Please don’t notice I suck”. But notice I do.

Desperation and nervousness in a job interview

Remember that you are interviewing them, too.

You need to fit in. What if you’re nerdy? Own it. Don’t hide it. Expose yourself in all your nerd glory. Guess what? They wanted nerd-tastic.

You’re hired.

And now, the best commercial ever produced:

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