NaNoWriMo Day 5

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So Tuesday turned out to be a tough day. I squeezed out only 320 words, before I was just too tired. (even this post is a day late)

New total: 7,235 (just 42,765 to go!)

More tonight, I hope.


NaNoWriMo Day 4

Total words for Monday: 1,186

Project total so far: 6,915

Back to work — it’s the first Monday of NaNoWriMo! — so I expected to get fewer words down. According to the NaNoWriMo 50,000-word challenge, the daily average is 1,667 — so at least for today I am a little bit above average. I expect that to slip a bit.

With the writing, though, I think I still know what’s going on — so that’s a good thing.

NaNoWriMo Day 3: Time shift edition

Total words for Sunday: 2,826

Project overall: 5,729

So I think I’m sort of back on track, though even having that extra hour always throws me a little of whack. I think I probably should’ve been able to churn out more words today.

Work week returns tomorrow (Monday), and I expect my daily average to dwindle a little.

Good luck to the other NaNoWriMo-ers out there doing this amid full-time jobs and full-time life things!

NaNoWriMo Day 2: The Lure of Research

Books on a bookshelf with a ladder
Photo by Pixabay on

Saturday. Word count: 1,981. Now I’m behind. It’s my weekend, so I was planning on cranking out some words, but I read what I wrote yesterday and knew it could be better, so I worked on that — adding some, deleting a lot of others, but after about 90 minutes I think I netted a solid dozen words that I could add to today’s count.

Then it was time to plunge forth, and I did for a while, until I wanted to learn one small thing, a tiny detail or two, that Google could help me with …

Two hours (and a lunch) later, no knew words, and I still hadn’t quite found the right fact (though I did find something else entirely, and that went right in the manuscript for +25 words). Thing is, I love looking stuff up. I love being able to find the right fact to make my fiction ring true. As a former newspaper copy editor, looking stuff up was most of the job (the rest was more or less just memorizing and implementing AP style, as well as numerous local variants).

Here’s hoping tomorrow goes better. And thank you to all the fellow writers and NaNoWriMo-ers who checked out yesterday’s post. Great to be part of a creative community, joined through the inter-webs.

NaNoWriMo total word count: 2,908

In other words, I’m already behind. Yikes!

Day 1: NaNoWriMo and Me

For the first time, I’m doing it. NaNoWriMo, that is.

My plan: Expand on a pair of short stories that are linked with at least 50,000 new words.

Who else has done it? How’d it go for you?

At the end of Day 1, I’ve logged about 970 words in about 90 minutes of writing. Only about 49,030 words to go.

Felt good. I tried, and failed, not to edit and re-edit a few sentences. Trying to get into the frame of mind of just putting words down.

Wish me luck.

Fun story, bad science journalism

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I recommend reading this story, but I don’t recommend believing it.

Here’s why:

You can tell from the headline that it will be fun, and the writer gets to play with using multiple fonts and spacing of letters. It looks like Dada poetry. Dada is often fun. The gist of it is that a scientific study says using two spaces after a period makes a text more readable than one space after a text (though some argue, and I agree, that this two-space rule is a holdover from typewriters and monotype fonts (in which each letter takes up the same width, regardless of it being an “i” or a “w”). With today’s word processors, fonts are no longer monotype (and so two spaces aren’t needed).

First thing, though, is that I was taught as a journalism student that science doesn’t  “prove” things; rather, it provides evidence that support theories. So when I read this headline, I think: Bad journalism! (Knowing how hard newspaper work is these days, especially for the copy editors who write the headlines, I can be forgiving. Though it is also this kind of use of the word “prove” in a scientific setting that allows for the slippage between the common understanding of “theory” as meaning a guess and the scientific understanding of the word “theory” as meaning a hypothesis that can be tested to find evidence in support of the hypothesis.)

Then there’s the experiment itself. The sample size—60 students—is far too small for the amount of certainty the story and the headline give it. Again, this is the same kind of bad journalistic reading of science that allowed for the word “proved” to be used in the headline.

Even worse is how the students were tested using a device called the Eyelink 1000, which tracks eye movements as someone reads. As the article states:

Most notably, the test subjects read paragraphs in Courier New, a fixed-width font similar to the old typewriters, and rarely used on modern computers.

In other words, the students were tracked while reading a font for which people should use two spaces after a period, but which most people don’t use.

So which side are you on? One space or two?

The week ahead, according to predictive text

Just how predictive is predictive text?

To find out I began a sentence in my iPhone’s Notes app with the word “On” followed by the day of the week and the phrase “the world.” For the rest of the sentence I selected one of the three words suggested by the predictive algorithm to find out what’s in store for all of us.

Here is what I discovered:

Continue reading →

New poem: ‘Firefly’ in L’Éphémère Review

Thank you L’Éphémère Review for publishing my poem!

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Read the rest of the poem here:



Martin Amis on life and writing

Martin Amis: “My life looked good on paper – where, in fact, almost all of it was being lived.”

― Martin Amis, Experience: A Memoir