Sunday, October 31, 2004

Let the noveling begin.
Ok, so at midnight tonight I will busily begin writing my second novel.

Or, perhaps it is more accurate to say that I still haven't thought of anything to write about, nor have I officially signed up for Nanowrimo, nor do I conceivably even remotely have the time to tackle this challenge again.

Um, yes. Let's go with the second one.

But never fear, dear readers. I have not given up, yet. I may not have an idea, or much time to write. But I still have the desire to do this. And crazier things have happened.

I just may crank out another novel in November after all.

But as of right now, I got nothin'.

So, if nothing else, I cheer the rest of you on who are tackling this brave endeavor. May it be insightful, useful, and good writing practice.

But most of all, have fun.

Happy Nanowrimo!!


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

No really. It's a word.

Ok, actually it's National Novel Writing Month. You might remember last year I did this and came up with the national bestseller Lizzy Hated Pantyhose.

Well, it's time again. It's in November, the annual writing of a novel during the 30 days of November.

I'm debating whether to do it again or not. These are things I am considering:

1. It's free. And it would distract me from my current teen-phase of becoming a drummer. I *need* (I don't need them, I just really, really want them) to purchase drums, but I'm sure there are better things to spend my money on. However, I am obsessed with watching drums on ebay, and entirely serious about becoming a drummer. But if I'm writing for 30 days there's a good chance I'll be able to pay my mortgage during November, instead of blowing my cash on drums to go in a house I can't pay for.

2. I wrote last year mostly during work, which worked out well because it took up a LOT of time that I simply did not care to devote to a novel outside of work. This year, if I do it I will have to do it entirely NOT at work, since I have a new job that requires me to actually work. Which means, in November you may see or read very little of me. Unless you come over to stare at me at my computer. (if I don't know you, don't come over)

3. I NEED A TOPIC. This blog is to solicit ideas. Help me. Last year I did not come up with my amazing topic until November 5, which put me a few days behind, with many words to catch up to being on schedule. It was tough, but only a few homeless people suffered because I did no work for a few days at my job then, at the shelter. Obviously any topic goes, and the weirder the easier to write. I just have to do 50,000 words. It doesn't have to be good. Obviously.

Go here to see what the heck i'm talking about.

Want to try it with me? Sign up, find a topic, and get writing on Nov 1. It's really hugely fun! It's a beating for 30 days, but it's totally cool at the end to say you wrote a novel (and no, it's not a novella. it's a NOVEL)

(note: I haven't actually signed up, yet. I'm afraid of commitment).

Email me or leave a comment with topic ideas.

C.T. the Writer

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


It hurts to realize there is nothing you can say or do to make something better.

It's agonizing to realize you have no control.

It's humbling to not understand what makes things fall apart.

It's painful to be helpless.

This is when trust comes in... to either lead you forward, or send you backward.


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Reunited, and it feels so .... weird.
So, the big reunion happened last weekend.

The whole thing is really a very interesting phenomenon. This 'reuniting' thing. Why do we do this? What is this need we have to go back and check on things that are so many years into our past? Seems like if we've done without it for the past ten years, we'll be okay to keep going without it. Do we need this to validate where we are now? Is seeing where everyone else is at this stage something we need to know we are okay where we are or wherever we're headed?

I'm intrigued by the socialogical aspects of the reunion.

But aside from the deeper levels of why we do the reunion thing, my reunion was great. It was fantastic. Truly, it was a lot of fun. I'm glad I went.

I was surprised by how many people really hadn't changed much at all. We all basically look the same. I recognized people. They recognized me. We'd all aged a bit, with changes in hairstyles and clothes and a few other minor details. But for the most part, everyone just looked ten years away from where we were at graduation.

Of course, there were a few exceptions. There was the girl who wandered around all night, but never really seemed to talk to anyone. She just wandered. I didn't recognize her at all. She was platinum blonde, had obvious, um, 'enhancements' in some facial and bodily areas, and she was dressed to show off all of these features. She was there to make an impression. When I got home from the festivities, I looked her up in the yearbook... and discovered why I did not recognize her. Seems she had purchased quite a few upgrades since highschool, and no longer even remotely resembled what I saw in the yearbook from ten years ago.

Um, yeah. Interesting.

Anyway, when Boy A and I first arrived for the Friday night casual activity, I had no idea what to expect. I hadn't seen these people in ten years. I didn't even know if anyone I knew in a graduating class of 800-plus people would be there. I fully expected to walk into a room of complete strangers, where no one would talk to me for a few hours, and I wouldn't be brave enough to speak to anyone else.

And that's exactly what happened for the first terrifying few minutes.

We walked in to a room full of people that seemed old. Not necessarily old, but much older than me. Were these my people? Did I graduate with these people? Am I seriously the best looking, and youngest looking person in my graduating class? Time had not been kind to these people that I saw in front of me, a mere ten years out of highschool.

Then I noticed that there was another highschool reunion in the same facility. These were actually not my people. These people actually belonged to the class of 1984 from a different school, also having their reunion festivities- their 20 year reunion, mind you - in the same place as my reunion. Well, that explained why they seemed older and not of my people.....


We walked past the older bunch and soon found my people. And thus began the game we played for the next 4-5 hours. The game became, "Did I Know You in Highschool, Did I Talk to You Then, and Is it Okay to Talk to You Now?" It's a complicated game.

Boy A didn't know any of these people, since he didn't go to highschool with me. But he faithfully stood by my side as we parked ourselves in a key location to view people as they entered the room. It was a prime spot to be seen, and also to see. Very important. I watched as people streamed in the door, many of which I'd never seen before in my life. But many others, thankfully, that I had known before and who... actually talked to me now!

Eventually we wandered. We talked to more people. And I soon realized that I'm ok. I look good. I was with someone who looked good, and who also made me look good. I was fitting in well. And, I somehow magically conjured the ability to be out-going and have conversations for that 4-5 hour stretch of time. I'm not normally a conversationalist, even with people I know well. But for all intents and purposes of the Ten Year Reunion, I conversed.

Can't have people thinking I grew up to be pretty, but dull and mute, now can we?

The Saturday night more formal festivites were much the same as Friday night. Except that people wore fancier clothes. Well, most people. There was the one guy who showed up both nights in shorts, flip-flops, a Hawaiian shirt, unshaven, and with a long ponytail. Apparently he grew up to be a bum, or possibly just desired to be a bum.

Or perhaps he is now a famous fashion designer who has developed a line of clothing that tries to capture the look of the poor and destitute.

Anyway, the Saturday festivities seemed a continuation of the previous night. We hung out. We admired how good we looked. We took a giant class photo in a space entirely too small for the several hundred people needing to be in the picture. We ate overpriced finger foods and lamented at the price of the reunion versus what we actually think we paid for. I'm pretty sure my nametag must have been made of solid gold, because everything else probably actually cost about $13.50. In fact, the nametag had better be solid gold, or else the entire thing was a huge rip-off.

I'm keeping the nametag. Just in case it is gold. Or at least gold-plated.

But as it turns out, I didn't graduate with anyone who went on to become famous. Or win a Pulitzer Prize. Or win an Olympic Medal. In fact, in all reality I'm probably the most famous one in the class. What with my high-profile blog and extensive line of quality merchandise.... Yes, can you believe that the class of 1994 was so lucky to have graduated with the future Cynical Tyrant? I assure you they were as impressed as it sounds.

Overall, it was good to see and talk with these people again. Maybe highschool wasn't so bad after all. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who seemed happy to see me. In fact, no one ran away from me, or pointed and laughed at me, or shoved me into a locker, or gave me a swirly in the bathroom. I felt pretty good about that. I guess people really did like me then, and maybe they still liked me now.

It was good to catch up, even though 'catching up' didn't really move much further than the basics: what we do now, what we've done in the last few years, where we live now, and if we are married or not. All the important things one needs to know about fellow classmates at such a time as this.

The cheerleaders were still the cheerleaders, still meandering together in a pack, now complete with husbands who drive nice cars to make the pack-meandering more fancy. The one exception to this was the very pregnant cheerleader, now also sporting dreadlocks, who arrived with a man in tow (possibly her husband) who looked like he was straight from Vegas, complete with over-tanning, tight pants and shirt, gold chains, and sideburns. Definitely an odd couple, who sometime in the past ten years apparently discovered a land where dreadlocks and gold chains are cool. I'm sure all the cheerleaders are sporting it now, after the reunion.

It was interesting to see how people turned out after ten years. But really, we haven't quite turned out, yet. Many of us are still in school, or in grad school, or trying to get to where we still want to be. Many of us aren't married, or have only recently gotten married. Kids are on the way, or maybe yet to come sometime in the next ten years. I had a lot of conversations that seemed like beginnings, like things were just getting started for people. Not settled or finalized, yet.

The Ten Year Reunion seemed more like a checkpoint, rather than a milestone, or a finish line. A time to check in with people and see where they are on the way to where they will some day be.

There's still time and opportunity for those Pulitzers, or Oscars, or Olympic medals.

We'll check again in ten years.