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Saturday, 2 December 2006

No Medal, But I'm Happy

Well ... didn't make it to the 50,000 words, but got to 38,000.

I printed it all out and now have in my hot little hand 80 pages as part of a rough first draft which I will work on and add to. It was helpful to focus for a whole month on the 'novel' and to form the beginnings of something from the miry clay of memory, association and experience.

But what a busy month to try and write in!!!! NaNoWriMo is a brilliant idea - but nevertheless, a Northern Hemisphere idea and as a consequence doesn't dovetail perfectly into the Southern Hemisphere lifestyle. (In fact I hear rumours of NZ already planning a June novel-in-a-month instead. So ... that would be a JuNaNoWriMo??) Over here, November is perhaps the busiest month in NZ's social calendar. It's when the end-of-year dinners and meetings and before-Xmas get-togethers are scheduled. Plus with Daylight Saving's longer hours, outdoor living becomes the focus - long, light evenings are certainly NOT conducive to labouring away in front of a computer's dim light. NEVERTHELESS - despite having family to stay, going out to dinner more times than in the whole, previous ten months - and other spring and getting-ready-for-Christmas-events - I am happy enough with the amount I managed to hack out.


Today is the second day of summer ... but we've had such a cold spring that we're kind of wondering if we're in for a white Christmas. As I write, a strong and cold, nor'easterly wind is walloping the leafy trees outside our house and despite the bright sun, I know it will be very cold and unpleasant if I venture out. I have decided I will stay indoors and read up on blogs instead. Having had a whole month off, I have got a lot of catching up to do.


I will leave you with some of my November Highlights (listed in no particular order.)

*Meeting friends for coffee

*Being a guest reader for a poetry reading event

* A job lined up for 2007 with a young couple to be nanny for their newborn baby

* My 76-year old Mum coming to spend some time with us & doing things with her like going out to afternoon tea at Glenfalloch where we sat on a grassed area surrounded by greenery and huge, old trees while a bullfinch hopped around looking for crumbs under our feet; going to a second-hand china shop - and finding some little bargains - getting in some dvds to watch in front of a roaring log fire (as I say the weather's been cold!) a trip through to Lawrence where we had lunch in a cafe called 'The Lemon Tree', which is run by a German couple who in NZ's off-season, go back over to Germany to cook for the Michael Schumaker.

* Going to 'The Departed' with ABM - a film so full of graphic killings that by the end, the audience was laughing when yet another person got shot.

*Six dinners out with friends and/or relatives

*Some walks along the beach

*In-laws staying a night

*Our youngest son getting a job as a guide for the Milford Track
*News that our oldest son will be home from Japan for Christmas and New Year

* The astounding art that our middle son is producing in his studio/bedroom at the end of our garage & having him and his fiancee K back here ( although there is now no December wedding to look forward to - they've decided to postpone)

*Spending time with my daughter and granddaughter
*Finishing the sci-fi book - 'The Necromancer' (of which I'm sure I only understood about 45%)

*Picking honeysuckle and lavender

*Seeing all the rhododendrons and azaleas that are out

Azaleas, Dunedin
Originally uploaded by John Gevers.

*seeing all the Christmas decorations - although this also can also make me feel very grumpy ... I am always a little ambivalent about Christmas ...

Originally uploaded by Bakko Brats


Originally uploaded by Aeode.
*Hearing the helicopters ferrying people (for $500 a trip) out to see the icebergs off our coast. The bergs are travelling north - four years ago they chipped off the old block: Antarctica ...

*Going to a friend's art exhibition of beautiful paintings she's painted after a three-month stay down in Antarctica (an example of her work is in the image below)

... and many more experiences I'm sure have already all dissolved in the mists of time ...


Deb R said...

Sounds like a busy month and a good one! Yay for you for getting so much done! And I'm glad to see you posting again.

Even here in the States November is kind of a crappy month for NaNoWriMo, what with everyone starting into the winter holidays. I've always thought they should do it in January or March (for us anyway).

Catherine said...

Great to see you back1 And congratulations on 38,000 words. I'm not sure that November is the best month for it in the US either, given that Thanksgiving is in November. In our household, the Christmas rush is only just starting - the week after this one will be the craziest as we have a graduation in Wellington to attend, birthdays etc. Still, now that everyone has left school it's not as bad as it used to be. And yes, hasn't the weather been awful?

Belle said...

Warm greetings Chief,

Having heard about the icebergs, I thought of you. You will make the best nanny for that little baby, I'm glad you got the job.

Later.....I have to get up early to catch my flight.

pepektheassassin said...

Chief, I am soooo HAPPY to see you back (even tho we were NaNoBuds I missed you here!) I never did learn how to use that buddy-mail thing. Congratulations on a job well done!


chiefbiscuit said...

deb r - That's interesting re the month of November over there too. Thanks for your cheering comments.

catherine - Sounds like you'll be busy! It does get a little crazy with everything seemingly left until the end of the year - some unavoidably so. Great to be back - thanks.

chiefbiscuit said...

belle - Soooo good to be back and reading everyone's news - you have a good time now! Hurry back!

pepek - Thanks so much! You did a great job too - I loved the excerpt you posted, it reads like a real chapter in a 'professional'novel and has an energy to it which I like.

Anne S said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere and well done with your 38,000 words of a novel.

Jan said...

Great combination...38,000 words AND a brilliant varied month. That's what life's all about... Variety makes the writing live too, doesn't it?

GoGo said...

good luck on your endeavor!

Becky said...

Chief, congrats on the 38,000 words. That is a significant chunk!!! And I'm quite sure they are high quality.


twitches said...

Sounds like you've had a great month! Here's hoping the next one is full of adventure, too.

Endment said...

Kudos to you!!!
What a list of things you have accomplished during this month! I am sitting here in my recliner panting from the exertion of reading the list :)

Seriously – I wonder how you were able to get anything written … Congratulations

Kamsin said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere. Sounds like November was a great month!

megg said...

what a fun full-to-bursting post!! I SO agree with you! I think that NaNoWriMo should be in February or March - NOT November. No matter where you are, November is too full already for such a big bite - well done to you anyway for getting so many words done!!!!

Marie said...

Lovely to see a post from you and congratulations on your achievement. 38,000 words is fabulous.

I tend to agree with the others who favour a January or February month for this even up here. In the northern hemisphere, too much is happening towards the holiday season and your energies tend to be directed there instead.

What a busy ´December you have planned as well. I hope you remember to take out time for yourself as well.

chiefbiscuit said...

anne s - Thanks. Good to be back - why does it seem like I've been away for longer than a month?

jan- You're so right about that - makes life spicy!

gogo- ta muchly.

becky - Hi becky - now from you, a novelist of note, that is praise indeed - so thanks!

twitches - it's sure to be busy with Xmas 'n all.

endment - I think that's why only 38,000 and not the required 50,000.
Enjoy that recliner!

kamsin - Thanks for the welcome back. My month wasn't nearly as adventurous a month as yours, I'm sure!

megg - Thank you. It seems everyone agrees on that busy November thing. I wonder if Mark Baty (the Organiser) is listening?

marie - Thanks for dropping in! Oh yes there will be time for me - I am on - a hopefully sunny - holiday from Dec 21st to Jan 14th. Yay!! (More time to read your wonderful posts. Mmmmm. All that snow!!!)

mapiprincesa said... busy! I'm proud of you, too, in your writing venture. I can't blog now. Too much, too much...but can only go up from here. And now I've got some help to get me there. I'll fill you in later... when (note...not IF!!!) I'm feeling better!!

mcdinzie said...

how great to see you back up and running so to speak:)

how did you get our George to pose for you wearing a xmas hat??

Is that the same xmas hat you wore last year on xmas day?

I dont believe you about have a hose decked in decorations and a family to share it with.

No xmas tree here except maybe the pohutakawa at the top of the bank

chiefbiscuit said...

mapiprincesa - Thanks for dropping by. I wish you only the best - great to hear your positive statement. :)

mcdinzie - I presume you mean house and not hose??!! Yeah ... I said I felt ambivalent about Xmas so I switch from 'nah' to ''s okay'. By about 24th I'm gettin' the Xmas spirit!

kj said...

what a fantastic post! i loved reading about your special family and activities. i am SO envious that you have azeleas and sunlight while i am preparing for freezing temperatures and snow.

congratulations on making it to 38,000 words. that is wonderful! i can't believe i have 50,000 words and 203 loosely typed pages. i now have the luxury of reading, and then working on, what i wrote in almost free assocation form.

thanks so much for visiting my blog. i hope you enjoy it as much as i enjoy yours.

best wishes,

Sabine said...

Good to see you are back and had a brilliant November!

Shameless said...

I admire your discipline! And you stayed away from your blog for most of it! Good to see you're back though, and I look forward to seeing some tastes of home.

wendy said...

Oh!!!I'm so glad you are back...I'd click you almost every day,...even though I knew you were busy. You'll always be first on my list...really. You are The first one on my list!

chiefbiscuit said...

sabine - I hope your cat is okay. it must be a worry for you.

shameless - Hi! Yes I knew if I blogged that would be the end of the novel before it'd even begun!

wendy - You are the sweetest thing!

clare said...

Got here at last - and glad I did. Excellent resumé CB - the bit I liked best was the gruesome film. It made me smile because I wonder if the director was after the comic effect - I suspect not - which makes it even funnier.

Congrats on the 38 000 words - if they're anything like the ones in that short story you wrote they're going to be fascinating ones!

nj1712 said...

Congratulations on all you wrote. That is a lot of writing!

honeysuckle and lavender ? Wow! Enjoy those flowers... we're sledding here. :-)

apprentice said...

Congrats on the word count, sounds like you're off to a flyer.

Stop rubbing salt in about light, and long evening outdoors! All but dark here by 3.45 at mo. Only good things are the amazing sunsets and the clan gathering of starlings before their evening roost.

Tammy said...

WOW! You've had a great time and 38,000 words...congrats!! I want an autographed copy when you're done.

Catherine said...

I hope they don't change it to January or February, there's no way I'd ever take part in my Jan-Feb summer stupor. March might be OK. Next year's busy though, maybe the year after?

woman wandering said...

Oh it's good to have you back!!!

This post was both delicious and completely homesick-making :)

January said...

Congratulations on your 38,000 words--no small feat by any means. What an amazing feeling to have the start of something in your hands.

And it sounds like you had a good month personally, too. I, for one, am glad you are back to blogging

chiefbiscuit said...

clare - Thanks so much.
Yes it was funny re the film - no the director - Martin Scorsese no less - wouldn't've expected that reaction I'm sure.

nj1712 - Thanks for dropping by. I'd quite like to be sledding - jingle bells!

apprentice - But I wish it was balmy long evenings ... it aint yet.

tammy - let's swap autographs! ;)

catherine - June is the month mooted by the kiwi contingent ... it might be okay - but you may be too busy globetrotting so it might have to be June 08 for you.

ww - I don't really like making you homesick cos it's not a nice feeling - however, your posts make me feel envious for some European sophistry, so maybe we're even?

january - Thanks my dear.

Remiman said...

Wow! 38,000 words + leading a busy daily life>>>Oh ya. You deserve a medal, a gold medal. What terrific drive you have. I'd be lucky to get 3,800 words and even then they probably wouldn't make much sense.

I'm glad your back blogging, and thanks for stopping over to comment. Your presence here is motivational and uplifting.

Patry Francis said...

38,0000 is awesome! Congratulations!

chiefbiscuit said...

remiman - Thank you, I don't know if I deserve such praise, but I'll take it anyway!

patry francis - Thanks - now I've got to get the rest down - probably about that amount again. But not til next year ;) (January ...)


'how this all harbours light'