Wednesday, November 28, 2012


NaNo Update Nov. 28 2012

Pffff... I'm aiming for a historic redefinition of the 'comeback' concept.

See that slump there, from Day 17 to Day 25. I flatlined. 3,179 words written so far today, but I need at least 5K in order to be sorta back on track. 5K today, 5K tomorrow, 5K Friday, and I'll make it, just barely, to the 50K goal. Forget that 75K target--simply undoable at this point, unless I commit to not sleeping and just writing round the clock.

Hmmm. That's an idea.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Say Thank You

Have you ever given a stranger's child a gift? Maybe a colleague invited you to their son's birthday party, or Bar Mitzvah, or Christmas at their place, or, you know, whatever. Say this child is young (so maybe Bar Mitzvah doesn't apply), younger than eight. You hand the child a gift-wrapped box or one of those feisty gift bags with tissue paper arranged just so, and the child's eyes go a little wider, their face a little seriouser. They take your offering somewhat solemnly.

And their mother says, "Say thank you, Robbie"--or Jenny, or Mindy, or whatever.

[At least that's the way it was when I was growing up. Nowadays parents seem oblivious to their kids' manners.]

Here's the lesson. It's not that the child isn't appreciative of your gift. He--or she--is dying to open it, to see what it is. Their heart is racing, adrenaline is flowing, endorphins are kicking in. They can't wait.

Mom, on the other hand, is all about social mores. "Say thank you."

So the kid does, kind of halfheartedly, or maybe a bit shyly if they're older. They'll feel a little embarrassed for the greed they feel, for the desire to get it over with and tear the damn thing open. And you'll nod, say they're very welcome and you hope they enjoy the toy--or book, or sweater, or whatever. You'll turn back to the mom, release the kid to the freedom of shredding paper and ribbons and plastic wrap and cardboard.

Aren't we all like that? Yeah, even the grown-ups? We resent the "say thank you", the obligation to pause in our enjoyment of gifts. Gifts like life. Like health, or family, or an exotic bird chirping on our windowsill, a tiny flower blooming among the weeds.

I don't think the child is wrong. That carpe diem of tearing gifts open, of getting excited over wrapping, over ribbons, is a wonderful thing. But I think Mom's lesson is pretty powerful. "Say thank you." Not because it's socially required, not because the gift-giver deserves the thanks, although they certainly do. I think it's important to say thank you because that pause of contemplation gives the gift depth.

In the hedonism of "a gift! a gift! a gift!", we forget to appreciate the moment. Moments pass so quickly. Saying thank you is a nod, however brief, to acknowledge it. Before it's gone.

Happy Thanksgiving, USA.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

NaNo Update -- 2012/11/18

So I didn't make those 5K I promised the other day... Or any day since. *Sigh* But I did manage to catch up, at least to the par per day (today's par is 30,000, and I made 31,387).

And I have my donor's halo--yay! I'd been trying to donate since mid-Oct, but the system doesn't have "Curacao" or even "Netherlands Antilles" in the country drop-down menu. Credit card info and billing address have to match, so... But ok, finally I got the payment through. Let's hope it also works for the merchandise I'm planning to buy at the end of the month--including the Winner's T-Shirt :D

Thanks, all, for your support. Means a lot to me that you take the time to stop in and leave a word or two of encouragement :) Keeps me going.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NaNo Update 2012/11/14

I have been remiss in my NaNo updates, haven't I? Yeah... Well, I've been remiss in my NaNo, period. I'm far behind my goal of 35K (2.5K per day x 14 days)--almost by half.


Why? I haven't finished revising Novel #1. Revising a novel and NaNo'ing require different sets of skills--for NaNo one wants more words, it's all about twisting open that faucet of creativity all the way, but revising requires cutting words, evaluating each one and making sure it carries its weight. You can probably imagine what a mess my head is from trying to do both.

Even on separate days. See those brown lines below that stay the same day after day? Those are the days I've spent editing MANTRA.

BUT I will catch up. Today I will write 5K words, no excuses. No dog rescuing, no laundry (well, maybe a load. Or two). No leaving this chair until I have a minimum of 5K in that section at the top that says Words Written Today.

No excuses.

And I'll post the updated screenshot sometime before midnight to prove it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

SF vs. NY Bestsellers

A great compilation and comparison of 10 bestsellers at City Lights (San Francisco) and McNally Jackson (New York), via SF Weekly Blogs. Interesting discrepancies, food-for-thought similarities, and--if nothing else--great to-read suggestions.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

US Elections 2012

Why do I care, you say? I'm Mexican, not American, right? Plus, I live on a Caribbean island faaaar removed from American politics. Right?

Well, no. Wrong, actually.

None of us are "far removed" from American politics. Yes, as a Mexican, American politics have a closer impact for me than for, say, Sweden. Or Timbuktu. The amount of Mexican immigrants, legal or otherwise; the close ties (some would say too close) Mexico's economy has to the US; the importance of not just cordial but prosperous relationships between our governments... Sure, this election's results will impact Mexico immediately.

But that's not all.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNo Update 2012.11.01

Yep, I started at midnight. Hope to get in enough word count to make me feel a bit more comfortable about that 75K goal I've committed to.

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