Friday, September 21, 2007

Work work work, work work work work, work work work work work. Oh, and school.

I have not fallen off the face of the Earth. I am just busy. All day with work and school, except for Friday when it's just work, and then the weekends when it's homework for school and spending time with Kathy, friends, family, softball, bike races (but it's the off season now), more homework, and other such stuff.

I warned you at the end of the summer, that my blogging would become scarce as the school year stepped up. And after fall break, I'll be doing CSO Tuesday nights (come to our concerts, I will post about them).

All that having been said, I need to write more for myself, while not letting up on the writing for school. I wrote some great stuff for school, but I don't want to post it yet, or some of it, at all.

I do need to go and pick up some more copies of Currents at Meramec. There have been some people asking for copies, and I find that I have either handed all of mine out or (as is the case with one copy I found recently) spilled coffee (tea? Coke?) on them.

I want more people to check out my blog, too, but I don't have much product to talk up at the moment.

Alright, I will make a concerted effort to blog more consistently. I can't promise a return to the bloggin' golden age of three months ago, but I can promise more than one update every week and a half.

I received word from the Three Day Novel Contest that they have my manuscript. Four months or so until they announce the winners. And while I know I produced a manuscript that was twice as long and at least ten times the quality of my 2004 offering, I wish they'd give me feedback very soon as opposed to never. I don't know. Anybody want to read it? Let me know, I'll, I don't know...pdf it somehow and e-mail it? I can't post it, that violates contest rules. Let me know if you want to read it, I'll try and get it to you. Should be easy for most people. No, I will not print it out and mail it to you, though. It's 101 pages. I already mailed it to Canada once, the last thing I need is to mail it to, oh, I don't know...just out of the blue, New Zealand or some place. Sorry to any of my readers in that part of the world.

Current score at school:

Webster University Eleventy Billion, Elliot 915.2 x 10^-i

Just a little math humor that I don't get but that should give one or two readers a chuckle. Oh wait, I don't think any of my calculus-joking friends read my blog. Hm.

Oh well.

Added a new poll to replace my appallingly stone-aged poll I paid little to no attention to.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wow, Really When It Rains...

Several years ago, when I still had my Toyota and worked at The Magic House, I was driving home from work on a Friday night. I had opted to take the streets, as opposed to the highway, because I liked the streets so much better, because as I drive I can clear my head a little better, with the windows down, music playing, without a lot of wind knocking my head around. My passenger side headlight had gone out some time between the last time I drove the car at night and this particular evening.

I was driving down Lockwood in Webster Groves, the section just west of Old Webster where the median divides the road, and a police officer was travelling in the opposite direction. We passed each other near one of the breaks in the median, and he used this break to swing around and get behind me. I was not speeding out of control. I may have been going the standard 2-4 mph over the limit. I had not been drinking. I was not weaving. I didn't run stop signs or stop lights. There was nothing out of the ordinary, and yet he followed me for a mile.

At the end of this mile, as I was going through the intersection of Lockwood and Elm, the traffic signal turned from Green to Yellow as I entered, and the officer's lights went from dark to wild. I was still wearing my Magic House polo and name tag. This is key.

What followed was an exchange I could never have been prepared for.

Officer: License and Insurance
Me: Good evening.
Officer: Know why I pulled you over?
Me: No sir, is everything alright?
Officer: License and Insurance.
Me: Sorry, here you go.
Officer: Where you coming from?
Me: Work.
Officer: Yeah, or a party. Where you headed?
Me: Um...home.
Officer: Yeah, or another party.

He left, I guess to check my license, whatever. I was sort of confused. He came back.

Officer: This insurance card is expired.
Me: I'm's the new one, sorry.
Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over?
Me: No, sorry.
Officer: You have a headlight out. That's a ticketable offense.
Me: Oh! Yeah, actually, I just noticed that tonight as I was leaving work, must have happened in the last couple of days.
Officer: Or three weeks ago. Look, it's like, five dollars at Autozone to get it fixed. Now I'm not going to give you a ticket this time, but you better have two working headlights the next time I see you.

He handed me back my license and insurance cards, walked away and I drove home.

Or so I thought I was doing...I was on Murdoch, so close to home, when a Shrewsbury Police Officer pulled me over. He was much more friendly. He just wanted to let me know my light was out, doing a public service, for which I thanked him and laughed and shared the fact that I had just been pulled over in Webster for the same thing. He apologized, wished me a good evening, and I made it home safe.

This is all relevant because at the moment, my passenger side headlight is out on my Jetta. This happened about a week ago, and in all honesty I have not had the time to get it fixed because of work and school. So, I guess I've been playing Russian Roulette for a week and the odds finally caught up with me. There was a Webster Groves cruiser parked in the Nerinx lot as I was leaving Webster University's lot. As I pulled out onto Garden, the cruiser pulled out, got behind me, and promptly pulled me over. And guess who it was?

Officer: License and Insurance.

You've got to be kidding me.

Me: Good evening, here you go.
Officer: Know why I pulled you over?
Me: Yes, I have a headlight out. That's on the agenda for fixing tomorrow.
Officer: It's like, ten dollars at Autozone to get it fixed.
Me: That's true.
Officer: It's a ticketable offense, but I'll go ahead and let you go this time. Get it fixed as soon as you can.
Me: Thank you, have a good night!

And he walked away.

As if all this wasn't enough, I went over to my parents' house, where Kathy was hanging out after walking there from Webster U, and we were driving down McKenzie on our way home when...lights. County Police officer pulls me over.

I get it, already, world! I promise I will never neglect a burnt out headlight again for as long as I live! I mean, come on!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remember Tuesday Excerpts? Well Here's A New One!

This week's selection comes from my advanced playwriting class. The name of the exercise was "Never Metaphor I Didn't Like." Isn't it just dripping with cleverness? Here goes:


When It Rains...

September 2007

A covered bus stop with a bench in the morning. There is a trash can nearby. It is raining lightly, and continues to rain harder throughout. YOUNG WOMAN is sitting on the bench. Enter Francis, umbrella over his head. He sits at the bench and opens his briefcase, removing the latest Bob Woodward book, which he reads for a few moments until Reginald arrives, no rain coat, holding his newspaper above his head to ward off the rain. He ducks under the cover and stands to the side of Francis.

What a day, huh?

(looking up)
Yeah, yeah, what a day. Looks like it’s just going to rain harder, too.

Nasty weather.

(indicating his own umbrella)
You should have brought an umbrella, Reggie.

(shaking the water off his newspaper)
The paper didn’t say anything about rain today, though!

(shrugs, goes back to reading his book)
It was kind of sprinkling when I was getting ready to leave my building, so I went back up and grabbed my umbrella and rain coat. Good thing too.

Yeah, but this will pass. Probably clear up by lunch time!

Fade out, noise of bus, fade back in to stage, Reginald and Francis gone, Young Woman still seated. It is raining harder. Enter Reginald, this time with rain coat and umbrella.

(looking into the distance, calling)
Francis! Good morning!

(off stage)
Good morning!
(enters, both get under the cover)
Can you believe it rained all weekend? Totally ruined my plans, I had to run on a treadmill!

I know! I had to go to dinner with my mistress in my sedan! Imagine! And I had promised her a ride in my roadster! And then the art fair she wanted to take me to got rained out, so I had to spend Saturday night with my wife...
But what are you going to do?
(unfolds the paper he pulls out from inside his coat)

(sits, takes out his book)
Not much you can do but wait for the rain to end, I suppose.

(reading the paper)
Ah! Should be gone by Wednesday. Look, it says so right here.

Sounds of bus, fade again. Lights up on stage, young woman still in her position. It is raining harder now and thundering, too. The sound of wind. Enter Francis, and Reginald, braced against the torrent; Francis’ umbrella is torn apart by the wind, so they huddle together under Reginald’s until they reach the safety of the stop.

Well, good thing we ran into each other, otherwise I would’ve been soaked to the bone!
(tries to repair his umbrella, but it’s hopeless)
Well, I guess I should just get a new one.
(places it in the trash can)

(he has already started reading his paper)
Ah! No need! Listen to this:
(reading aloud)
“Rains continue into the afternoon, finally moving eastward around two. Clearing skies and high in the mid 70’s.” Oh, it gets better! “Tomorrow, sunny and bright with a high of 77.” At last, an end to the rain, am I right, Francis?

(looking at the rain as a bolt of lightning rips through the sky, the very earth shaking at the thunder)
I’ll celebrate as soon as it’s over, Reginald.

Well then, I think the moment the rain stops at two this afternoon, we should have ourselves an Office Happy Hour! I’ll send a memo out as soon as we arrive!

Bus, fade out. Fade in. The rain is truly coming down like it has never come down before; we’re talking about ten minutes until Noah drifts by with his floating zoo. The Young Woman’s rain coat is drenched despite the presence of her umbrella. Reginald stands outside the bus stop, wearing his suit, a leather coat, expensive sunglasses, and reading his rapidly deteriorating newspaper. Enter Francis with a new umbrella.

(yelling above the sound of rain, thunder, wind)
Reg! Reg!
(no response)
(Reginald looks over)
What are you doing?

(shouting as well)
Francis, why on Earth are you still dressed in that slicker? Aren’t you simply baking in that? And why the umbrella?
(looks up, shielding his eyes)
Though I suppose it does keep out the sun.

Reginald, get under the cover, man! You’re going to get sick!
(gets under the cover himself)

Nonsense! Do you like the new coat? My children’s nanny says I look very young and virile in it! It’s genuine Italian leather!
(reads paper)
Oh, look! Record highs in Albany last weekend. Huh!

Bus, fade out. Fade in. It is drizzling, slowing up. The sun begins to shine through the drops of rain. The Young Woman is not at the bus stop. Francis approaches, carrying his umbrella above his head but holding his rain coat in his arm. As he approaches the bus stop, the rain stops altogether. He holds out his hand, sighs, and closes his umbrella, collapsing it and putting it in the bundle of his coat. Young Woman arrives, folding her umbrella, and stands beside Francis in front of the covered stop. They each slide a pair of sunglasses down from atop their heads.

(looking around)
Where’s your friend?

Excuse me?
(he takes his sunglasses off to look at her)

(she takes hers off to look at him)
Your friend, the one who was always reading the paper?

(smiles, laughs)
Him? He wasn’t my friend, just one of the big wigs at my brokerage firm.
(puts his sunglasses back on, faces audience)
He got pneumonia and died.

(puts her sunglasses back on, faces audience)
(she reaches into her purse and pulls out a paper)
Look, it’s supposed to storm all morning.
(she pauses, folds up the paper and tosses it into the trash can)

Sound of bus, fade to black.


It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. -Robert Benchley

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I'm done I'm done i'm done im done imdone im don omdin edhe. aehdah?

Good ness Grashe Iss.

Final tally of 101 pages. One more than my goal. More of a plot than The Wednesday Night Movie Club, which was 2004's three day offering.

My fingers hurt when I type.

Somebody tell me that I have a nice long time to write my next novel.

I now have some neglected homework I must attend to. No sleep tonight either...


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Three Day Novel Update Number 4. CENTENNIAL POST! EXTRA EXTRA!

Forty six hours in, 48 pages done. On pace for a 75 page novel. I kinda slacked a bit today, and for that I will pay come crunch time. But right now, I can't concentrate.

This is my 100th post! YAY! Please click here to see my web hero on his 100th post.

And also, because it's about that time to remind myself how lucky I am that I prepared for this contest, I will share with you the wisdom I attained in 2004. It's like a Tuesday Excerpt, but on a Sunday night!


How to Write a Three Day Novel (from February/March 2006)

Start in grade school, writing short stories based on Star Trek. In middle school, your writing begins to take on a distinct style, which is unfortunately Douglas Adams’ and not yours. By high school, you’ve gotten that out of your system and instead have started putting drugs into your system. Lose your virginity to somebody who subsequently cheats on you on your seventeenth birthday. Journal about this obsessively until three years later, at journalism school in Minneapolis, when you meet a girl named Kathy from Nebraska. Stop smoking marijuana and decide that writers are drinkers.

Become a starving artist, so nobody can ever understand you. Abandon your obligations to attend class by staying at home writing short stories. You don’t want to be a journalist, anyway, or fall in love with Kathy because she’s too responsible to let you become your generation’s Jack Kerouac. You absolutely love her for this and so fall in love. Also, she doesn’t condone your drinking habits so you decide to cut back. Silently admit that, misunderstood starving artist that you are, Kathy understands you and keeps you well fed.

After four months together, propose. This happens after a bout of Mono which forced you to drop out of school. Move back home, but drive up to Minnesota once a month to visit, or else she’ll drive to Missouri to see you. Plan your wedding via phone. You attend a school you swore you never would simply because of its geographical proximity to your high school. Work at your grocery store job as much as you can; you’ve got a future to plan for now. Start apartment hunting.

You turn twenty-one. Now you can drink and enroll in your employee 401(k). You have no idea what it’s for, but Kathy tells you it’s a good idea. Consider this; it makes your paycheck smaller.

Your wedding is in South Dakota, in a quaint church that didn’t cost a dime to use; honeymoon without taking pictures at crucial moments. This is okay, because you are young and in love. You run into your parents in the Badlands, and as you discuss the wedding and the trip, reflect: you didn’t know your parents would be here, but it’s nice to see them; they hated the idea of this wedding until they met Kathy; they obviously trust her and like her more than they do you.

Move into an apartment that is just big enough for you, Kathy and all of your stuff. This is important, because it gets the ball rolling on finding your next place to live the moment you buy a bookshelf, which will happen after you’ve unpacked your books and found you have nowhere to put them.

You haven’t been writing much, because what with school and then the wedding, you haven’t had the time. But, your general education requirements are out of the way, and before plunging into your creative writing certificate, treat yourself to a challenge. Labor Day Weekend is on the way, which can only mean it’s time for the Three Day Novel Contest.

Friday, prepare yourself. Unplug the phone, buy a case of beer and a bottle of good whiskey. Check the chat room; everybody is talking about how they’ve been writing at least ten pages a day all summer. One says she has been brainstorming and mapping her novel for two weeks. Type in the following line: “I’ve been letting it build for the past month. I haven’t written anything. It will all burst out tonight.”

You are met with the internet chat room equivalent of silence. Finally, somebody from Quebec asks if this is your first Three Day Novel contest. Yes, you tell them.

“Good luck. You’re going to need it.”

Mix yourself a stiff drink at 11:45. Kiss Kathy goodnight; she’s going shopping early with your sister to give you some space.

Stare at a blank screen for six hours.

Start, stop and start and stop. Repeat as necessary before falling asleep on the couch. Dream that you’ve missed the deadline.

Write nine pages about how to write a three day novel. Stop at page nine and tell yourself not to give advice about something you’ve never done.

Watch a movie. Start writing a story about people watching a movie. It’s derivative; their dialogue is lifted from the movie they’re watching, which is the movie you just watched. Let this nag at you, but only a little bit.

Your main character is one of your stock characters; you wrote a play about him in high school. His friends in the story are friends from another story he’s in. Chronologically, this is after the play, but before the movie script you wrote last year just for fun. You think, briefly, that you should do an anthology instead of a contiguous novel. But no, the rules are clear. All writing must be done between 12:01 am Saturday and 11:59 pm Monday.

You have seven pages, and you’re stuck. Take a nap, sleep off the whiskey. It’s almost one o’clock, Saturday afternoon. Before you lie down, you check the chat room. It’s empty.

Wake up, because your friend Jerry has stopped by. You’re self conscious; you smell bad, you’re still drunk, you know that you’ve got the world’s worst case of bed-head. You feel like you’ve only slept twenty minutes, but the clock tells you it’s been a solid half hour. He asks if you want to get some food, but your responsibility as a writer says no.

With Jerry dismissed and a glass of water at hand, plunge back in. Page seven. You’re stuck. Grab another movie at random, telling yourself it’s a bad idea. Incorporate this movie into your novel as well. It’s a bad idea, you think but it’s all I’ve got. Think of nights wasted watching reruns, the Olympics, these very movies; how many pages could I have turned out? It would have at least gotten ideas flowing.

Do the unthinkable and leave the apartment. Take a walk with your wife. Your head is spinning because, after the glass of water (and the movie), you had two beers. Also, it’s nearly nine in the evening and you’ve only written fifteen pages. Checking the chat room before the walk proved you were a good sixty pages behind some of the more seasoned veteran contestants. Other Greenhorns like yourself had doubled your efforts and were less than satisfied, which makes you feel significantly less than satisfied.

Mumble, “I’ve got to get back to work.” Your characters are lost, and you have nothing with which to bring them back, so you make them watch another movie, this one about writing. You are writing a novel about people watching a movie about a person writing a novel. This gets you six more pages than you had. Think back to your eleventh grade history paper; that was more than quadruple the length asked for. Ask yourself, “what happened to the guy who wrote that one?” Consider that question on a more existential level; where have you gone? This transfers to your protagonist. He is asking, “where have I gone?” Now he’s depressed. Congratulations, you’ve introduced conflict. And what’s more, check back to find that you alluded to this event at the top of page two. Celebrate by canonballing a shot of whiskey into your beer.

Wake up disoriented. It’s Sunday afternoon. Your wife asks you kindly if you’ll take a shower and brush your teeth, then asks if she can get you something from Taco Bell. Your stomach churns and your mind reels because you haven’t eaten anything besides microwave chicken nuggets and popcorn since Friday night. Decline the food, citing whiskey interference. Make toast and resolve to stay away from alcohol.

After the shower, pledge to plunge ahead. No distractions, no drinks. No more movies.

Find a distinct gay vibe between your protagonist and another character. Worry about this and pour yourself a shot. Surely I didn’t do that on purpose you say to yourself. Take an hour to read select passages. With each passage, make sure your eyes widen with fear. It helps if sweat stands out on your brow. Let it pool on your desk before taking another shot (or three) and open a fresh document. It’s four thirty. Thirty-one and a half hours until the deadline. You know you can’t start from scratch.

Put on a tea kettle and spend a few minutes picking out the right tea. When the water boils, just pick Chai Spice tea because it’s the easiest teabag to get to. Throw the bag in the bottom of the cup and pour the water from the kettle over it.

Forget to turn the stove off, and set the kettle back on the burner with the spout open.

Smell something burning and turn off the stove. Resist the instinct to grab the tea kettle because it will be hot. When you do burn yourself, apply aloe. After the application of aloe, your tea should be steeped past drinkability because you forgot it after you poured the cup.

Drink the tea anyway and write in another movie.

On Monday afternoon, send your wife to Starbucks so you don’t screw up making coffee. She complained all night that you were keeping her up with the keyboard clacking and the printer running. Tell her that it’s all in the name of revision. This is a lie; you don’t have time for revision because you still haven’t finished the novel.

Your characters are hopelessly lost now, spread across the country and unable to resolve their particular crises. As their creator, you do not have good news for them; you are at much more of a loss than they could be, as they are fictional and your dilemma is very real. Three characters have been dropped from site. One character is in Moab, Utah, stalled on his cross-country road trip. He rides his bike up and down a mountain. Go back to the beginning of the story and put in a reference to his bicycle. Flip forward twenty pages and throw in a scene where he rides his bike with friends. Now the mountain makes more sense.

Hit the print button and hand the pages to your wife. “I’m getting a gay vibe between William and Chaise,” she says. You give them each a girlfriend.

It’s eleven o’clock, Monday night, and you have seventy-four pages, double-spaced with one inch margins. Your last chat room check in the early evening revealed many others had doubled or tripled your efforts. Read the last paragraph and do a drastic edit to make sure it does not end weakly. Return to the first page and do the same for the opening; if it begins weak, the judges will certainly hate it. If it begins and ends strong, they may forgive any awful passages that you may have slipped in here and there. Print it.

Put more thought into your biography and thank you letter than you did into the entire story; three straight days of writing has jumpstarted your creativity! The letter is alternately scathing and hilarious. The legal-looking document you type for your wife to sign as witness is full of wit. Wake her to have her sign it. Do not get upset when she does not laugh, because she will also mumble something along the lines of “Acrodyl is on the cow’s second backside stomach,” which is just incoherent sleep-talk. Just make sure the name she sleep-signs is her own and put it all into an envelope, all seventy-seven pages, and address it. You’ll wish the post office was open late, like on Tax Day, because you’ll want to mail it before you change your mind. Do this first thing Tuesday.

Do not return to your novel. When the winners are announced in January and you are not among the finalists or even the honorable mentions, turn your nose up at the contest forever and sit down to re-read your novel.

With each twinge, with each gut-wrenching moment, and with each craving to crawl into your wife’s arms and lament that sad, pathetic youthful inexperienced writer you left back in September, know that next year you will be better prepared.


And there you have it.

Most editors are failed writers - but so are most writers. -T.S. Eliot

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Three Day Novel Update Number 3, and Your Questions Answered Volume 3

Eighteen hours in, 22 pages. On pace for an 88 page novel. Target is 100, so that's looking doable. YAY!

After that rum and coke, it was back to business as usual. Cajun Party Mix and regular coke. Except I haven't actually had a regular coke. Or anything, really, I've just been sitting here writing, aside from the short break I took to call my father.

It just occured to me that I should eat something substantial, but that would require taking a real amount of time off. It would be one thing if I had a frozen pizza or something I could just throw in and forget about for a little while, but unfortunately, being the enthusiastic cook that I am, we really have nothing of a substantial nature in the house that doesn't involve intensive preparation. Stir Fry? Can't just let it sit. Pizza? Oh sure, once it's in the oven it's a nice long wait, but first I gotta prepare the toppings, grate the cheese, put together a sauce, etc. And pasta? Yeah, like that's a "Set-it-and-forget-it" type of meal.

I am fairly happy at this point that I have so very few friends in the St. Louis area. Not that I don't value the ones I have, but I can convince myself that everybody else is busy, which is easy to do when there are only about five people on your call list. If all of my Minnesota friends, plus all of my out of town high school friends were here...I could easily find somebody to spend time with, away from what I should be doing.

I wish I had kept a tally like this for the first time I did the contest, just so I could do a better comparison. But, alas! I do know that I am doing much better.

Well, as I am somewhat stuck at the moment, I thought I would take the opportunity to do my usual First Weekend of the Month Feature: Your Questions, Answered!

From the post Your Questoins Answered, Volume 2 on Sunday, August 5th:

Becca asked:

Also, do you think I should start using some sort of blog alias? Everyone else has a cool little nickname, but I'm just Becca. Not very exciting, is it?

Nah, no alias. Unless you start a show like Alias...that was a good show. It was very exciting.

From the post Tuesday Excerpts on Tuesday, August 7th:

Becca asked:

I know that wasn't based on real life events, but why does all of your writing remind me of college - more specifically, living in Bailey?

Because it was a very interesting time of life. Lots of good stories came out of that time. In a couple years, I can start writing about what happens at Webster U, once it's all been processed by my mind a little better. That processing is getting faster as I learn to detatch myself better as a writer. Good question!

The Wife asked:

When are you coming to visit?

I live with you! Oh, you were asking Becca...

From Advice from Todd Zuniga on Wednesday, August 8:

The Wife asked:

What, no quote for today... well lets see are we still trying to find out why Sam was late?

That's right, no quote for the day. Only on Tuesday excerpts, silly. And when I feel like it. And no, we are not trying to figure that out, I am trying to figure it out. But we've moved on.

From Free Write Friday on Friday, August 10:

marty/bridget said:

Did you say the next 24 hours?

Shut it, you.

From Free Write...Wednesday? on Wednesday, August 15:

mGk asked:

Did you really say "drop it like it's hot"? Could you BE any whiter?

Yes, I did, and yes, I could. Nobody I ever dated went through a Eminem/Real Slim Shady phase. Yes, that's right, I'm talking about the twin, and NOBODY ever could be any whiter than he was that year.

From School Week 1 Recap on Thursday, August 23:

Gerald asked:

so wait. you're suggesting that kucinich isn't ripped and tan normally?

Um...we're talking about Dennis Kucinich, right? The man who was characterized by Conan as a Hobbit back in 2004? Yes, I am suggesting he is certainly not ripped. He could possibly have a nice tan, though. I will give him that one along with the single payer health care plan.

From the post Kinda Late, I Know... on Tuesday, August 28th:

John asked:

Is that the Capt'n that has kitty passed out dreaming of BBQ mouse?

Absolutely it is, although what he's dreaming about is fried chicken. Trust me on that one, it's his all-time favorite.

Becca asked:

I love being a college student!!! Don't you, Elliot?

Sure. It would be nice to not be one for a while again, but next time I am not a college student I will have a degree to accompany my non-studenthood. Seven years of being an on-again, off-again college student has taken its toll on my sanity, along with this three day novel.

what exactly is the point of The Tinderbox? Isn't there supposed to be a moral to the story or something...?

Becca, I do not even know what The Tinderbox is. And the moral of the story is that you never, ever ever want to have found five dollars. It's sad.

From Three Day Novel Update Number 1 on Saturday, September 1:

Molly asked:


Just to be argumentative, Mom, no. Not right! HA! But secretly, after all the friends I'm trying to impress leave the blog, yes. You are right.

From Three Day Novel Update Number 2 on Saturday, September 1:

mGk asked:

Can I have a rum and coke?

If this is Kevin then yes, you can do whatever you want. If this is Madeline, no. No you can't. If this is Maureen, only you know the answer to that one. I have no authority over you. This you know. So why are you asking me?

Okay, back to work!

Three Day Novel Update Number 2

Roughly fifteen and a half hours in. Fifteen pages, on pace for a 72 page novel.

Fifteen pages, yes. Going well, but the first bad sign has arrived.

That's right, the first drink of the contest.

Actually, I lasted a good seventeen hours longer without drinking than the last time I did this. And yes, that does mean I was drinking for two hours before the contest started last time. I was young and naive.

Kathy is gone for the day. Not ten minutes after she left, I got hit with a craving, the worst kind of craving...the kind of craving that can't be sated with what you have on hand, no, it's a specific craving for freakin' Archer Farms Cajun Party Mix from Target, and you wonder, "Why the hell do I want anything from Target?" And it's because for almost four years, it was part of your life to get stuff from Target on almost a daily basis and it turns out, hey, I kinda miss some of that. Specifically, the Archer Farms Cajun Party Mix.

It's like a freaking Archer Farms Cajun Party Mix commercial over here!

I would like to thank my sister for taking the time to run to Target to pick some of the aforementioned salty snack concoction for my munching pleasure. I raise this rum and coke to you, Mo!

I can't help but wonder if my father went to scope out a spot from which to watch the Tour of Missouri stage into St. Charles. I wanted to go help, but I have a higher purpose this weekend.

Did everybody hear about the clash between cyclists and police officers in Minneapolis last night? I'm referring to it as the "Critical Massacre of 2007" myself. I was on the City Pages website last night and saw a little bulletin about it. It sickens me, but what sickens me more is that somebody actually commented on the story with "Serves them right, bikes aren't cars, get off the damn roads." Or something like that. I want to hit that person with a bike lock over his head. Hmm. Good thing I have to write a novel.

No more stalling! Onward I must go!

Three Day Novel Update Number 1

Two hours and seven pages in. I'm on pace to write 252 pages, but I do actually have to sleep. And also, there are the occasional updates, for which there will be reason.

So, update #1, meet reason #1. I am currently stuck just a little bit.

Now, originally, the plan was to post some short excerpts from the novel-in-progress, but it turns out that disqualifies me from the competition if they ever find out, and chances are, if you give a mouse a three day novel, they might go snooping after your writing blog. Or something like that.

Sorry, I did sneak in a little bit about cycling already in the first seven pages. But not to worry, it is not about cycling. There's just a bit in there. That is all I will give away. For real. No, the reason is I am stuck, right. The problem is that I have points A and B, and what I thought were points C, D, E and F at the very least, with likely points G, H, and I, but it turns out I need to bump everything, because what I have now is Points A, B, something new, and C, and D and E are ready to go but...not yet. They need something to bridge the gap. So, revised, points A, B, C (new), I need something in here to be point D, then E (which was the original point C). See? I have dots, just not all of I want this line to go straight? Do I want it to curve? What?

Sorry I can't share any more details with you folks, but, well, you know how it is. Or maybe you don't.

Only 70 more hours until this competition is over! Ah!