Getting set for NaNoWriMo!

What I’ve learned in my old age is that if you’re only going to wait for the proper moment and when all circumstances are ideal to act, you may end up sitting idle for a long, long time. Sometimes, you just have to go out there and DO IT!

So screw it. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to write a novel.

I love books. I love reading, and I don’t mind writing, especially if it’s for myself (and definitely if I’m getting paid for it!).

For a long while, I’ve been saying that I wanted to write a book that would ultimately get published. I’ve got about 3-4 non fiction ideas and a few fiction based ones as well. Some are more fully formed than others, but none are structured to the point that I feel comfortable tackling them just yet, mainly because I’ve been really busy with volunteer work and other things over the last year, so I’ve never had the time to properly dedicate to a book project to do it, what I feel, justice.

But what I’ve learned in my old age is that if you’re only going to wait for the proper moment and when all circumstances are ideal to act, you may end up sitting idle for a long, long time. Sometimes, you just have to go out there and DO IT!

So screw it. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to write a novel.

November is known as National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short), and while it originally started in the United States, it’s essentially open to anyone around the world.

The gist of it is that anyone who’s interested in participating has one month to write a 50,000 word (or more) novel by November 30. If you can accomplish that, then you “win.” To do so, you have to write on average about 1,667 words a day to hit that goal.

There’s no real prize for “winning” except the self-satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment for banging out 50,000 words in a month, hopefully in a way that make sense.

The motto is “No plot? No problem!” which, for some reason, seems to resonate with me at this stage of my life. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and prefer to edit a piece of writing to death before publishing it, so it’ll be fun to see if I can resist those impulses for 30 days and interesting to see if what comes out of it is cool or an incoherent mess.

I’ve decided to tackle one of my fiction ideas that has been percolating in my head for a while, but hasn’t been fully formed yet. I have the beginning sketched out and the ending loosely as well, but haven’t defined the circumstances or conflicts that surround the story yet. I’m currently spending the lead up to November 1 brainstorming ideas on paper just to see if anything sticks. I don’t have a title or even character names, other than generic things like “Vigilante Guy,” “Asshole” and “Best Friend.”

But I figure that if I wait until all of that is defined to the point where I’m satisfied, I’ll never get to it. So starting at midnight, I’m just going to start writing stuff and see where it leads. This thing may never get published, or it may get heavily re-edited later and may not resemble anything I ultimately pump out in the next 30 days.

And that’s okay. Because sometimes, you just have to get out there and DO SOMETHING.

If I have any writing capacity left over, I may blog about my adventures in NaNoWriMo, but for now, I make no promises. My guess is that I’ll start slow at the beginning and will start to really pump stuff out towards the last half of the month once I figure out how things fit together. We’ll see how it goes. My biggest regret is that they didn’t pick a month with 31 days in it. But I guess you can’t win them all.

Anyhoo, wish me luck!

“You never get it right, you people, do you?”

Man, am I exhausted I just finished a 12 day work week and boy am I tired (took yesterday and today to sleep). Last weekend, I had to come in to help get our team ready for LinuxWorld (we even managed to get an entry under the Best System Management Tools category) and help get things ready for our demo. Then I had to take on the role of full support for the week as half our development team went on vacation. It wasn’t too bad, although there were the usual last minute rushes in terms of support. I’ve been offered a day off and I’m debating when to take it. I could take it tomorrow, although I probably should come in just to tell Laurie about all the bugs and problems that were found while he was gone. Maybe I’ll take Friday off? Who knows.

Anyways, I said I’d talk about Harry Potter, and I always keep my promises. If you’re a die hard and you haven’t read the book by now (I think three weeks is plenty of time), then it’s not my fault if you get spoiled by reading this. You have been warned.

So where to begin? It’s been a while since I read it (although I’ve read through it twice now) but I have to say that I really liked it. I’m not sure if it’s my favorite one (Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix are my two favorites right now), but it was still pretty good. I liked how it was Harry who was dead on in all of his theories while Ron and Hermione were off (much different in the previous books where Ron and Harry’s theories were totally wrong and it was Hermione who was right) and yet no one listened to him. I’m not going to draw parallels to it in my life, but I think Dumbledore was dead on when he said that “it’s harder to forgive someone for being right than it is for being wrong”. Really felt sorry for Harry. Have to admit, he took it pretty well in the end when Hermione and Ron weren’t able to successfully complete the tasks he set them to.

I found that this book didn’t have as many red herrings as the previous books, and that many of the details were bashed over the reader’s heads (re: Dumbledore and Harry’s “private” sessions). I guess that’s to be expected, considering there’s only one more book left in the series, and Ms. Rowling had to spell things out clearly. Speaking of which, I love how she finally put all those ‘Harry + Hermione’ rumors to rest. What was even funnier was the backlash by all the ‘shipper’s out there (can we say “delusional“? 😛 ).

As for the ending, well, I can honestly say that I never saw it coming although I shouldn’t be surprised. Harry’s got his own quest to finish and it’s fitting that he has to do it alone. I kind of figured that he wouldn’t be finishing school; I mean, it’s not like the final battle could be fought in between exams. As for the circumstances leading up to it, I’m sure there’s more to it than we’re led to believe. I’m sure Dumbledore knew what was going to happen, and I don’t think Snape is as bad as he seems. I’m sure Dumbledore, like Harry, knew what he was getting into and chose to walk with his head held up high. I still think Snape is an @$$ but all that taunting without fighting back and stopping the death eater from using crucio on Harry tells me that perhaps Snape is still on the right side, it’s just circumstance that made him have to cross to the other side.

I’m really looking forward to the next book and it sucks that it’s going to be at least a year and a half until we see it. I’m hoping it’s the longest book yet because I don’t want it to end. Looking forward to Bill and Fleur’s wedding and I don’t think Ginny’s going to let Harry off all on his own. It’ll probably be very different in tone to the last seven books, but I’m looking forward to seeing if Harry will even survive to the end of the book (as Ms. Rowling has refused to guarantee anything).