Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympics and Writing


Well, we lazed. It was lovely.

Watched the Olympics— women's gymnastics (YAY for Romania!), men's heavy weightlifting, (also, yay for Romania… though I couldn't watch long. 170+ kg above my head is not something I relish watching or imagining), and bits and pieces of other competitions.

I also spent the day doing absolutely nothing. It was glorious. I watched Remington Steele, read a bit… but absolutely nothing that could be in any way construed as even minorly productive.

Well… I did check my email. But that was it.

Tomorrow Camp NaNoWriMo starts! The plan is to wake up some time around… 7, finish the Kruger post, and then start writing Incense. The reason I want to finish Kruger first is because I'll probably get caught up in the novel.

The day after, I'll probably write at the camp presentation or Madagascar before writing at the novel, and so on and so forth. It's so great to have some sort of incentive for doing this stuff. 

Yes, technically the Mark Forster technique I'm using now dictates that I should only do what I feel like at any one point in time, but the problem is that a novel takes up all my brain space and I don't really feel like doing anything, even though I'm completely capable (and might even enjoy) doing whatever it is has to be done.

So that is why I'll be going to 'work' first thing in the morning.

And as to editing… I haven't done much. There was that one day when I wrote nearly 500 words in the Chapter 7 rewrite, but to be honest I'm not enthused about it. More and more, I'm finding I need at least a little bit of a routine… even if it changes up regularly. I like having a semblance of a plan in place— that way I can condition myself to doing something. Like school.

Speaking of school, as I was checking my email, I got this notification from Twitter that said I have X many tweets. One of them was about "Is Algebra Necessary?"

So I clicked it. It's an article in the New York Times which I didn't read with extraordinary attention… but the point is that math is one of the biggest reasons kids drop out of schools. Specifically algebra.

Now, maybe I'm lucky in that my mom forced me to understand algebra (I'm not sure how she did it), but I don't really see the problem in a+1=4. (When you get to quadratic equations though, I start wondering what the point is).

While everyone tells you that you need math, after a certain point almost no one uses what they learn in math class (also, what do you really need? Addition and subtraction. Nathaniel Bowditch created navigation tables for men who could only count on their fingers.) We have computers doing the work for us. Of course, that's not the entire statement. I'm still working the kinks out.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Video


We sat in the car. We drove. We ended up in a backpacker hotel. The WiFi is at an internet café somewhere in the town/city.

Ioan played Civ V on my laptop. I stared out the window. Came up with an interesting story idea. Now I have 13 ideas that are either fermenting, being written, or that need editing.

I wrote nothing for blog posts today— I just couldn't work up the enthusiasm for them. 

Ileana and I added 50 seconds of placeholder to the video today, and half of another paragraph. We have some filming and picture-taking to do tomorrow, and hopefully by that time we'll be able to also import the videos, finish up those 70 seconds of placeholder (we've got a traveling day put in as well), and complete the first 8 minutes and 20 seconds of the video.

After that, we have to finish the 'monument' paragraph (awesome and not-so-awesome places we've seen), our 'local attraction' and 'animal' paragraph, the one about 'luxuries…' And then a few more paragraphs about rest days (schoolwork! Blog! Laundry!)… and then a few interviews (quick, short, sweet), and finally an end bit that shows us being mostly silly, which we've dubbed 'jet lag.'

AND AFTER all that, we have credits. Which will probably be quite long, because I'm not taking any chances and all the songs are going up along with their record companies and years and so on. 

… Phoo. I've still got 250 words to go. And there's literally nothing I feel like saying.

Ooh! Camp NaNoWriMo, August version, starts on Wednesday. I'm ready. Sooo ready. The only problem I have with it is the fact that I've also got these things to focus on, both of which come ahead slightly before 'writing another novel:'

- Camp presentation (there's… two… weeks… left)
- Blog posts (the 300 day post is coming up soon, and I need to write it… psh. I still have Kruger, Madagascar, and the rest of South Africa to write, besides that.)

Um… that's actually about it. I could probably do them both really easily if I set a timer and forced myself to write, but I don't want to set a timer and force myself to write. I get all stilted when I have a timer on something that I don't know what to write about.

Of course, when it's a world like this and I'm just lazing around because I'm lazy, then it's okay to set a timer. In fact, I set one for two minutes in order to finish the last 120 words. And I'm typing quite quickly now. In fact, I may actually finish before time. But when it comes to a blog post, or something I won't necessarily go over with a pick or tweezers, then it's rather important to pause, think about it, and then write about it. It's a bit annoying, though. I wanted to finish Kruger today. Oh well!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cheetahs, Videos, and Books


We finished another paragraph of the camp presentation! It's about the hotel rooms, and it's not everything I would've liked to have finished today, but there's another bit of the work finished.

When it's done completely, I'll take the time to explain in more detail what it's about— and if we ever meet in real life, I'll certainly take the time to pull it out and show it to you. 

… Let's see… what else is of interest?

WE SAW A CHEETAH! He was absolutely beautiful. We stopped the car, stared at him… and he got up and walked away. Thankfully, just behind us there was a turn, so we reversed, turned, and managed to catch up to him just as he decided to cross the street in front of our car. We didn't manage to get any pictures of the momentous event, but we did film it.

He crossed the street, lay down about three meters from the side of the road, and sat there for the next 50 minutes. At least ten cars gathered around us in that time (we'd been first!), leaving or going as it suited them, but we watched and filmed and watched some more until he got up, walked a foot further, and slumped down so you could barely see him.

Show's over, he seemed to be saying.

It was awesome.

After we saw him, we left Kruger, reaching the Kruger View Backpackers' at about 5:30. After reading the somewhat raunchy jokes on the fridge, talking to the proprietors, and checking out the book shelf, I located some frothy novel by Katherine E. Woodiwuss (as long as it's entertaining, at this point!) and put it on my bed to read by tomorrow morning. 200 pages in. It's not the best I've read, but I'm interested to find out what happens next… and as long as I've got something to look forward to so I'll wake up early this morning, it's all good.

We ate an early dinner, walking around the three lovely dogs (who bark, sniff, and are all very nearly the same color, despite being different 'breeds' and sizes) and trying not to step on them by accident. Though doors were open, they didn't venture inside. Where are the dogs like this! Well-groomed pooches who won't walk inside a room! (May I mention that only one had a collar? So no electric fencing here!)

After dinner, I set Ileana to work adding new bits to the presentation (I'd done a lot of work this morning before she woke up, and I was a bit clueless on which videos to add to the next bit). She did some work, went to watch Madagascar 2 (I elected to read), and came back to do some more work.

"Let's record now."

"No, it's late." (9pm)

Annoyed sigh. "Okay, I'll do it."

But my voice sounded stilted on video. "ILEANA!" I shouted down to the bathroom, "Tell me a joke!"

She paused. "You're dead."

I laughed, fake-gasped, and said, "And everything I know is wrong!" 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Theory


… Today was an absolutely fantastic day and I'm not even certain we saw anything.

We were nearly attacked by yellow-tailed hornbills (or whateverc it is they are) at lunch (one pooped on Dad). They seem to have no fear of anything unless it's within a foot of them. Okay. We managed that.

No cheetahs, no lions, no leopards, no hyenas, no wild dogs. A few giraffes, a lot of impalas, some African buffalo, a few birds (one really cute puffy one, especially).

The room in the hotel isn't particularly great. There's a kitchen separated by glass doors, with one bed in the kitchen, a kitchen table, etc. And that leads out to a porch.

Actually, on second thought, I like this little bungalow. It's small, has everything you need (even though the 'stove' doesn't work), and it's rather spacious if you have the curtains open.  But it's not awe-inspiring or anything.

Ileana and I didn't work on the camp presentation— by the time we got around to having 'quiet time' it was 9pm, and neither of us was in the mood to bring something out and work on it only to have to put it away in the next hour. Sure, we could have gotten the hotel pictures in, but I was interested in Merica Po (my secret project… did you know that merica means pepper in Indonesian? (And probably Malaysian as well)), and Ileana had just read the Brief Guide to World Domination (a great e-book, I suggest you visit The Art of Nonconformity and download it). We typed messages to each other in Text Edit and 'talked' about the guide and plans for our lives.

But that wasn't particularly awesome or amazing, so what made this day so great?

I have a theory. The last few moments of the day (or movie, or book, or whatever) is what influences what you think about the entire day. (Or movie, or book, or whatever). It's exhibited when I slog through an entire really annoying book (or just plain pointless one), and then the last few bits are sweet and I just think, "I liked this book," regardless of the fact that, for the most part, I couldn't wait for it to be over. Wuthering Heights illustrates this for me… even though I think I'll reread it. It wasn't that bad in the beginning. And The Count of Monte Cristo's last 67% more than made up for the first 33%.

SO. The last few moments of today included… writing 300 words of the Kruger post.

THE KRUGER POST! With no problems at all!

… And… (and this is big), I'd been hung up on a certain part of CHAPTER 7 of Perfume. I had to add a scene in. I started rewriting Chapter 7, got rid of the hang-up, and 456 words into the bargain!

And on top of that, I'm just plain happy. I've got a real project! One that isn't a project so much as a life goal.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Internet!


The absolute highlight of the day today was this:

I wrote the first two sentences of the Malaysia blog post, came to my senses, set a 20 minute timer… and then because in the first two sentences of 'Malaysia' I'd noted I'd be whizzing through the country… I wrote all of the 800+ word post in 18 minutes.

With no trouble at all! It is such a relief to get yet another post out of the way. Now it's not hanging over my head, not hovering around to suck out a bit more energy… nope! It's just there.

And the best part is… I felt like doing it. I felt like sitting down and knocking it out, and I did. There was no silly stuff like there was for Indonesia or Singapore where I was almost forcing myself to sit down and write. Nope! Just this idea… "I want to write the Malaysia post…" and there it was, written, 18 minutes later!

I posted that, Indonesia, and Singapore, checked a few of my websites (skipped Facebook… I have more interesting things to do, skipped GoodReads as well almost entirely, just Camp NaNoWriMo to check with my cabin, and a few blogs whose articles I had on my laptop but didn't investigate further at the time).

I managed to check my email, which has an interesting habit of:

- Downloading all my Yahoo! Mail messages all at once… then pretending to let me delete them, but actually keeping them in the inbox. I HAVE NO IDEA.

- Downloading all my other, really awesome-long-awaited mail one… message… at… a… time… this requires constant checking back, refreshing the inbox, leaving so that the poor thing can download, and then finding out it's a newsletter from NaNoWriMo asking for donations (it's donation season! Only time of the year I get these things) or a blog update about something that doesn't interest me (editing! Where's the editing! It's all about writing!). When an email finally does show up, it's short and to the point… no conversation opportunities for another week! *Sigh*

Anyway, so that's my crazy email. I have no idea what's wrong with it… but it seems to enjoy scaring me.

And… I've got a vague/very specific idea of what I'm going to do in the next 12 years of my life.

It is such a relief. Of course, everything's still open for discussion and nothing's set in stone, but I've got something to work toward that isn't entirely selfish, so no one can say I'm being a selfish meanie. (Or anything to that effect).

Ileana and I put together a few more seconds of the camp presentation… we set the stage for a childish joke within the video, finished another paragraph completely, have the bits in place for two others (unfortunately we cannot dub them finished because we need some footage), and have the beginning of a third.

We also went out, but saw nothing of interest… seriously. Not even a close-up elephant or zebra or giraffe!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Semi-Stress


Animal count for today:

Elephants. We went right between the entire herd… very stressful.

A giraffe in the middle of the road who was determined to pose for us.

A herd of African Buffalo in the middle of the road. They refused to move. We turned around after 15 minutes.

A leopard. It walked around for about 6 minutes… us reversing the entire time. Finally he crouched down and we lost sight of him. As we continued going on our merry way… the leopard is crossing the street.

Two giraffes in the middle of the road 'necking'— not kissing, mind you, but wrapping their necks around each other. The bigger one started walking purposefully toward us, so we backed up the hill… rolled back down, and finally honked to make them move.

A kudu in the middle of the road. (We were despairing of ever getting home.)

What we think are waterbuck— they have a target on their rump.

Three white rhinos.

Countless impala (the joke of the day goes like this:

In the morning, passing by impala. "We do not stop for impala." (This is real)

(This next part is made up). Impala crossing the road, driver continuing. The impala don't move. The driver accelerates. The passengers in the car start screaming at the driver to STOP, s/he's going to run over the impala! The driver, wih a crazed look in his eye… "WE DO NOT STOP FOR IMPALA!"

… We're not sure what happens after that.)

Seriously, today is the most fruitful day we've had yet! I've probably missed a few hundred animals, definitely a few birds (we managed to take pictures of the lilac-breasted roller… a rainbow colored bird that is.. .lilac-breasted and larger than it looks in the pictures).

Ileana and I wanted to go to work on the presentation again, but the hard drives didn't want to open for us… so we went to the cheetah wildlife movie playing instead. (And man, are they built for speed!) When we came back, we ate dinner, and actually managed to put together a minute more of the video. Never mind that 21 seconds are a placeholder for us scrambling to make the bags, or that we've not got any sound in. Our brains were exploding, we have 'hotel,' 'wardrobe,' and part of 'monument' written, and I've figured out we only need about 6 more paragraphs and a few interviews to finish the movie.

We should be fine… even if time is running out and we only have 21 days left until the 16th, which is our deadline.

If we finish one paragraph every other day, we'll have another week to put together the last few bits and optimize the interviews…

And I have 21 more days to finish blog posts… and ACK, now I'm getting stressed.

We wake up early tomorrow to leave at 6:30 and hopefully spot a cheetah or a hyena or a wild dog! Unfortunately they're all pretty rare.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Night Drive


… I'm not sure how to start.

We went on a night drive today. The first thing was that a group of eleven people didn't hear their name called, despite the fact that everyone in the huge circle was trying to figure out who they were. And then they had the nerve to be annoyed!

It really brings home the fact that some people will complain at anything. 

We drove and drove and drove… seeing at least three bush babies, a few small antelope, a civet, and three zebras.

We'd all sort of given up on seeing a lion, or a leopard, or any other 'interesting' big animal.

And then Dad, as he's been yelling the entire time… "STOP!"

We stop. We reverse.

There is a hyena near the road. I tried to film, but the camera was all fuzzy. It runs away before I manage to get anything on camera. Oh well. I saw a hyena! It looks exactly the way it does on TV.

August is coming!

And with it comes Camp NaNoWriMo, v 4.0. Strangely enough I'm rather ambivalent about this one. Incense is semi-ready, but I'm not nearly-obsessed about it the way I was with Perfume. Still, I'm excited. Maybe it's because I was thinking of writing Spice AND Incense (books 3 and 2, respectively) in the same month, and I have NO IDEA what Spice is about, despite the fact that it's about two cynics. But there's no external conflict, as I've only just now realized, so it's not ready to be written.

I could always try one of the other three ideas I've got fermenting, but none of them are ready yet either. I may not even start a second book in August. At the moment I'm just vacillating.

… Um. I forgot to mention this yesterday, but my iPod fell from about knee length and its screen semi-shattered in the bottom left corner.

The funniest part is that while I'm really reluctant to use it now… the actual screen is completely visible. There's just this ugly white burst that's distracting and a scratch over the lower half of the screen. Otherwise, it's like new. Not at all like Ioan's which was destroyed and it was almost impossible to see what you were doing in one part of the screen. I'm lucky in that the entire screen is visible, which means it still works for reading and such.

… What else? Life is better… 

I've been trying to simplify my laptop since early July… and one of the good things is that I've got a lot less folders— the bad thing is that I keep stuffing things into folders, which annoys me, actually. I don't want any folders beyond 'pictures,' 'reading,' 'writing,' and 'desktop.' So I guess I'll just delete all my other folders and deal with stuff from there. It's much cooler to see this article you haven't seen in ages right next to something you use all the time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lions and Clouds


It's Tuesday!

I woke up with this lovely dark cloud over my head… it stuck around for most of the day, only disappearing if there was something cool going on (we saw two white rhinos only about ten feet from the road, just lounging, and six lionesses from different distances… also lounging. Or playing with flies). But mostly it stuck around, making everything sour.

We saw the lions.

"Lions! Wait, you can't see them. Oh wait, you can, if you contort into weird positions…" They rolled around a bit in the tall grass, we took pictures and filmed and watched through the binoculars. "They really are like cats." Just like that, my brain switched from, "Lions! Awesome!" to "Big cats. Hmph."

I spent the rest of the time working on the laptop. 

Just dwelling on that makes me feel negative. And I've been feeling way too negative over the past three days to dwell on yet another thing that makes me feel bad.

So… the good things:
- We watched The Killing Game, which follows a litter of lion cubs through their lives. They almost take down a giraffe bull… Dad couldn't watch after they killed him though, because… well, I don't know. Thing is, I was completely fine until they showed the bugs. EURGH.
- I found a really nice song by Owl City called "Galaxies" It's awesome. AWESOME.
- I danced to "Hey Ya!" by Outkast. My quadruceps hurt now.
- I'm reading How to Make Your Dreams Come True by mark forster.

You can find that online for free, if I remember correctly, which is great. It's basically a book of dialogues between a Present Self and a Future Self and a Future Future Self… interpersed with exercises, summaries, and important information regarding 'doing what you want when you feel like it.'

While that may sound stupid, the point is that you have a clear vision of where you want to be in the Future, which means that anything you want to be doing is in some way related to that vision… which mean that things get done with much less effort than they would if you were making liss and 'forcing' yourself to do them.

The thing that's really interesting about this book is that this dialoguing thing works. I've done it in some way or another since I started writing (Okay, muse, I need to fix this problem… I talk to the muse and the problem gets solved in some way or another). The amazing  thing is not that I'm talking to my 'future self.' The amazing thing is that the human brain can do this.

It's amazing that my Future Self is completely diffrent from my Present Self.  It's amazing that they can carry on a conversation with each other without anything exploding or going wrong.

I managed to talk out a couple of prolems I've been trying to talk out with my parents, and that made me feel a lot lot better.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Not Fun


We're in Kruger.

Yay.

… That's honestly all I can think of saying. It's not even a happy yay… more like a.. "We're here," yay.

I'm tired, slightly depressed, a lot stressed, and not in the mood for anything. In a word… well, I can't think of a good enough word.

We drove all day, finally ended up at the bungalow, put together another 20 seconds of the documentary (… what did I get myself into? Runs constantly through my head).

I haven't even reached the 20% mark of Frankenstein. I'm not sure if I care about Frankenstein any more. Or reading. Or editing. Scratch that. I want to edit, I just don't feel like I have enough brain cells for it (which is a bad excuse. But there it is).

… I want to go home. It's easier there. At least, it used to be. Probably when I get home it'll be twenty hundred times harder than what I'm doing now. But when it's summer, people want it to be winter, and when it's winter they're wishing for summer. It's human nature to want what we don't have. Yay.

Dad said something scary today. He said that in a few years— two or three or ten, I'll look back on NaNoWriMo and wonder how I could have possibly spent 50 hours of my time writing a novel in a month. I won't be able to conceive how I could have wasted so much time on something like that.

And all I could think was… No way. That's never going to happen. It won't… right?

Writing is important to me. It's like… the only thing that lets me be creative. Really creative. I can't draw without looking at the drawing two minutes later and thinking, "This is bad." I'm not musically inclined. Making a sculpture is annoying. Coming up with different ways to solve a problem is pointless— what's the one that works? Okay, I'm using that one. If someone else finds something that they say works better, I'll try that one out too. But for me to come up with the new technique? No, thank you.

I can't imagine a November coming and me forgetting about NaNo, or deciding not to try for it. I can't imagine not having a novel idea somewhere. I can't imagine being too busy to set aside thirty minutes a day to write in November. I can't imagine thinking that all that time was wasted, or silly.

Every time I do NaNoWriMo I learn something. Plan a little, but not too much. Don't take on a ton of goals. Go with what happens. Have fun.

It may only be in the context of writing— at the moment I can't think of anything I could do to 'have fun.'

I cannot imagine, to be honest, thinking that the time to write a novel would be 'wasted.'

How many people have wanted to write a novel? How many people have actually done it? And of those people, how many have said it wasn't worth it?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Writing and Glasses


So we're in Hazyville. We've driven all day (Dad), shopped, and finally ended up at… a guesthouse?

I'm not sure. Point is, we sat in the car all day looking out the window, and unlike last time, there's not much to say about it.

But, the good parts:

I figured out the core of Incense! While this may not make sense to a lot of you, the point is that there are two types of stories for me: romance and non-romance. This line can get a bit fuzzy, since they all have some sort of love story. The sad part is that I can't write romance. I honestly can't think of anything that would keep two people apart except other peoples' stupidity, and that just doesn't work for me. The story falls flat, I get bored with it quickly, and splat! There's the end of the series! The successes (stories I wouldn't mind rewriting, or just the ones that make me laugh), are the ones that feature some sort of personal growth. 

But I wasn't sure who was going to grow. I had background, problems for each character… but Jan, though bad, hadn't yet notified me that he was going to be the main character, not Margya. Perfect. I have a logline, which I didn't have before.

What's a logline? One sentence of up to 25 words, describing the book without proper nouns. Perfume's is "A young woman loses everything and learns to stand on her own two feet." Incense's is "A man hounded by his creditors finally has to grow up." And Spice? Well, I've got till November for that.

We went grocery shopping today. The bad news is that I had to wear my glasses for most of the day— we stopped by at the Cradle of Humankind Visitor Centre (a nice place, but I knew a lot of what was mentioned there), and I had to wear my glasses to read the exhibit. Then at the grocery store I had to wear them as well.

And so you can tell what a difference wearing glasses makes… I saw clearly, of course. But my head hurt after a while. And when I took them off, at first I could only see 6 inches away. Then, as my eyes adjusted again, I could see 14 inches away. And I didn't have a headache anymore. My sight hasn't improved as much as what the sources online said, but I haven't been doing all the exercises (I just don't have that much patience), and I have continued wearing my glasses when I need to (to the annoyance of my father). But it's an improvement, and I'm confident that by February, at least, I'll be much, much better.

Anyway. We bought groceries enough to fill both levels of the shopping cart, (there are two shallow levels in South Africa, as opposed to one deep basket), ate pizza, and then drove a whole lot more to Hazyville.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Blablabla


We're in South Africa again! Finally.

Good roads (ish), English (even though I'll miss French), and rusks!

Rusks, by the way, are like biscuits, but they're really hard and really dry and reeaaally good. I looked up a recipe, but they have to bake twelve hours (after prep, which doesn't take long) to dehydrate them.

I can't wait to get home and test it out… better yet, I can't wait to buy some at the supermarket… now let's hope we find them! 

Alright… the order of accomplishments for today!

- I finished editing Chapter 6 of Perfume, figured out the number of scenes I'll be adding in days to come (… now how to put them in!).
- Figured out a writing schedule for the next year— rather fluid, but also enough to make me keep working.
- Finished the Indonesia post! It's cut off at the end, but I realized I was just getting into day-to-day activities instead of actually explaining what made Bali interesting, so I cut it.
- Finished The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth.

So, is it any wonder I feel quite productive? It's a great feeling to have all three things I wanted done… done!

Tomorrow the idea is to read Frankenstein (or The Invisible Man), write part of the Singapore post, and add in the new Perfume scene.

We leave at 7am tomorrow, to get to Hazyville, which is about 17km away from Kruger National Park.

After that, it's days full of driving around trying to spot a lion or a hyena or another leopard… I'm just hoping I'll have an hour or two to relax… the good thing about the car ride is that I'll be able to plan out Incense.

I'm listening to Faith Hill on my laptop, having moved a few songs to it so I'd have new songs to listen to even without internet… finally. It's great to be able to listen to this music.

(And yes, I must be slightly crazy, because I'd rather listen to Faith Hill or ABBA or The Beatles any day over… well, most people that are on the radio).

WHAT ELSE is there to say? I have no idea. My brain has lost any words it might have known earlier today, and I'm not in the mood to go hunt for them.

August is coming up and that's making me a bit nervous… have I or have I not discovered the book formula? Plan a little but not too much, give yourself time, small goals per day, and for the sake of all that's holy, don't write down the plot!

I've found that if I write the plot, I feel a need to stick to it, even though it makes me miserable. It's as if, if it's written on an erasable text file, it's been set in stone. I'm not willing to test it with this series. I don't know who grows in Incense, which I've known in all my other 'successful' novels. And someone needs to grow, or I'll write a slapdash romance, which is bad.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Absolutely Perfect Day


Today was a lovely day. We did absolutely no sightseeing. Instead, I managed to edit for 15 minutes, write part of the Bali blog post, part of the camp presentation, and read an additional 50% of The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth. And beyond that, I have a tentative plan for monthly writing activities— editing, planning, or writing, four times a year. Now I'm thinking that's a bit pointless, so I won't use it.

Let's start with the beginning. Editing for fifteen minutes? Yes, that's infintessimal. It's a fraction of the 50 hours suggested in National Novel Editing Month (takes place in March). It's 0.5%. And it's only for today. But 15 minutes got me back into the swing of things. I wrote down the extra scenes and notes I'll be slipping in— the book needs about 30,000 words more to be at the minimum of sale length.

And even knowing this, I'm not going to have a higher word count goal for August. 60,000 words in 10-16 days is a perfect amount. Just enough to get the story told, with a minimum of embellishments and cat fights (which is exactly what happens when I set a high word goal). I write 60k during the event— long enough to tell the story and win the event, and short enough so that I don't make up filler scenes. Perfume, with the exception of the first three chapters, has very few filler scenes. And it's 62k.

But as I'm editing it, I've come up with four scenes (more later, as I explore a one-time character) that directly influence Emeli's growth. And I have at least three other scenes that explain more about the life a person of Yazmeen's social status has. (The quick summary of the novel is: A young woman loses everything, gets taken in by a poor family, and learns to stand on her own two feet.)

This is the first time I've actually looked forward to editing. The first time I've seen it as more than 'pointless boredom'— editing really is making the book the best it can be.

I also wrote part of the Bali post today. It's interesting. I've forgotten the order in which certain things came. Others seem as if they're not written right. But I'm getting to the end of this. When I finish Bali, Singapore comes along. Then Malaysia, then South Africa, and finally Madagascar. When I'm within a week of the present, I get to buy Sims 3.  (This will probably be in London).

And Ileana and I videoed the next two paragraphs. We wrote two additional ones. We haven't voice-overed them— focused on finding a soundtrack for the next section, made ourselves a 'logo,' and fine-tuned things. We also danced, watched Chinese ballroom dancing (Chinese dancing on a garden walkway), and laughed at previous escapades of ours.

… It was a great, absolutely perfect day, even though I didn't finish anything I set my mind to doing this morning.