Thursday, May 31, 2007

Could you write a novel in one month?

Some industrious fools, er, artists challenge themselves to write entire novels in a single month. Others try to create a script, draw 30 pages of a comic, or complete 10 works of art during those four weeks.

Why? As part of The Office of Letters and Light's National Novel Writing Month and its sister projects. What, you haven't heard of it? (Of course you haven't. Neither had I.) Well, according to Wikipedia:

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a creative writing project originating in the United States in which each participant attempts to write a 50,000 word novel in a single month. Despite the name, the project is now international in scope. Nearly 80,000 participants registered in 2006, with almost 13,000 winners verifying their novels as meeting the goal. The cumulative word total for all participants in 2006 was 982,564,701.

When I was a reporter, I cranked out at least one story per day, and I'm not sure I reached 10,000 words a month, let alone the required 50,000. Makes me wonder if most of the participants are freelancers (that is, work for themselves from home) and thus have the time to pursue such a challenge.

I don't know how other writers might feel, but I find the idea of this project intimidating for yet another reason: I often fall into the mindset (a.k.a. trap) that I can only write when inspiration strikes, only when that "flow of consciousness" (a.k.a. creative vomiting) allows me to.

But working as a reporter forced me to look at writing as something one can do on cue. To this day, even after years of writing on cue for professors and editors, I doubt my abilities. I scowl at the final product, comparing it to some imaginary piece of work I would have created if I'd simply not been put under pressure. Truth is, perhaps I only look at those essays and news stories that way because they don't really fall under the "Writing Topics I Chose Myself" umbrella.

In the end, it's all subjective: the writing itself, the place it comes from, and the way we judge and absorb it. So, I remind myself everyday to not hesitate, to just let it flow, spit it out, puke it up, let it go, and maybe, someplace in the rubble that is my copious notes, I'll find something worthwhile, a clause or even an entire paragraph that speaks to me, to you or to somebody out there, where ever "there" is -- seems that's exactly my target market anyhow.

Regardless, it's an inspiring thought, the idea of making yourself just sit down and get on with it already. Here I was, thinking I barely had time to eat dinner, do a load of wash, and post a blog or two this evening. I better get cracking...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


"Poof Kisslets" by Klar, who does beautiful, fantastical drawings.

This shall be added to my collection of kissing images (that is, images of kisses, not images that kiss one another, though that could be interesting).

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

"Don't be a douche. Stop piracy."

That's one of my favorite lines from this short film, which is ridiculous, funny, and all the better because it's Irish (if I do say so myself).

Another is, "Oh, I'll walk your plank!"

Monday, May 28, 2007

Gay flamingos adopt a chick

Carlos and Fernando, a gay flamingo couple in England, have adopted their first chick. CNN reports on the new, and quite adorable, family:

I'm listening to...

"Lazy Eye" ~ Silversun Pickups

"Words" ~ Lucinda Williams

"Flathead" ~ The Fratellis

"Split Needles" ~ The Shins

"Wait and Bleed" ~ Slipknot

"Mojo" ~ Peeping Tom

"Simmer Down" ~ Mighty Mighty Bosstones

"Waiting Room" ~ Fugazi

And you should, too!

"Prophecy" ~ Remy Zero

Strange video, but great song.
Flashback to the '90s!
Most importantly, it's on "The Last Kiss" soundtrack, which Zach Braff produced, so you know it's golden.

Tweet me, baby

To keep up with what I'm doing and thinking (cuz God knows you just HAVE to), go to, create a username, and make sure it's connected to your cell. Then befriend me (I'm now on Twitter as "MetroOwl" to make it easier for everyone to find me). I figured it out, so it's pretty simple.

Now, everytime you send a text to 40404, I (and all your other Twitter friends) will get the text. And everytime any of us sends out a tweet, you'll get it, too. Pretty rad, eh? Course, it is quite ridiculous, and a big drag on our attention spans and efficiency. But who the hell cares. Tech rocks.

Here's what has to say about it:

What Are You Doing?
The allure of Twitter, the latest Web sensation.

By Michael Agger
Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2007, at 4:15 PM ET

Twitter is the newest assault on your attention span. Once you've signed in, the Twitter site immediately prompts you with a question in bold type: "What are you doing?" Below, there's a blinking cursor and a blank white space where you have 140 characters with which to answer. That's basically it. Here are some twitter messages, known as "tweets," culled this morning:

limburger2001 watching csi, and preparing for our work meeting tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. Thank god for coffee ! ...

jeremias listening to Curious George in the background while drinking terroir coffee whose headquarters happen to be 5 minutes away

tiroriro Che! Me voy a cocinar


Geewiz Just recovered from a night of playing WoW.

These messages are culled from Twitter's "public timeline." Most tweets are viewable by all. They join a stream of tweets from around the globe—a ticker tape of quotidian detail. The tweets you write are also sent to designated friends via text message, e-mail, or instant message. Finally, strangers can elect to "follow" you and receive your updates. According to tracking site Twitterholic, the top 10 twitterers have thousands of people following them—a literal cult of personality. Paul Terry Walhus, a gray-haired Austin coffee-shop blogger who has 8,789 friends and 1,722 followers, is currently the most popular person on the site. His latest tweet: "5:33 am cst L:78704 starting work week ... full plate today ... toast, mango yogurt and coffee w half and half."



Relating to or conducting exchanges with clients who drive up to a window and remain in their automobiles: drive-thru banking.
drive-through Performed or provided quickly and routinely: a drive-through delivery in a hospital.

A drive-through establishment, especially a restaurant.
A window at such an establishment, from which business is conducted.

In a recent tweet on Twitter:
"They actually don't let you walk through a drive-thru?"

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Alone in a crowd

I've always found big cities simultaneously exciting and lonesome.

This video seems to ask, "How can I feel so alone in such a crowded place?"