January 4, 2024 Post

Like a bad social disease you can’t get rid of, we’re back for another year, and as you may have noticed from the email tag line, we’re calling this “The Year of the Novel” because that is THE goal of 2024.

As you may recall from way back in November of 2023, we jumped into NaNoWriMo with both feet–or at least both typing hands. The goal of National Novel Writing Month is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I didn’t finish the novel but I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest since my personal goal was to see if I could write 45,000 words in the month which I knew (or at least thought) would bring me close to finishing a novel. I ended up writing over 50,000 words and I estimated that my first draft might take a total of 80,000 to 85,000 words to complete. I committed to continue my daily grind of getting up at zero dark thirty and writing every morning. I told you I would definitely have a completed first draft by the end of December. But enough about me. Let’s talk about Christmas. Was it good for you?

See how I cleverly changed the subject? That’s what us writers call a seamless transition. When done effectively, the reader is unaware that they were successfully duped. Do you feel sufficiently hoodwinked? You should because I’m here to report that while I was way off on my word count estimate, I actually did complete my first draft by the end of December. As I typed “the end,” I had strung together 104,069 words (most of them actual words appearing in actual dictionaries), and I did it one whole day early, finishing my 390th page on December 30th. Not bad considering I dealt with the typical December distractions of holidays and entertaining out-of-town house guests while still trying to stick to my schedule. I succeeded (mostly), even though there were three days when I didn’t get in any writing time, leaving me shaking like a heroin addict who missed his fixes. There were also a few days when I only wrote six or seven hundred words, but it didn’t matter. It’s done. Well, the first draft is done. More about that next week, including the gyrations I went through on my final day of writing as I learned the in’s and out’s of flashacks.

Here’s a visual look at the last part of my writing month.

Without further ado, let’s head over to the Story of the Week. This week’s prompt was contributed by Bob Cornfield (no relation–well, that’s what he says but you know how Dad always lies).

       Dick and Jane Grow Up (Sorta)

Look at Phillip. He is unhappy because Bella is cheating on him. Bad, Bella, bad!

Phillip wants to catch Bella. He buys spy cameras and hides them. “I caught you,” he says. “You are very bad, Bella.”

Bella shows Phillip her iPhone. “Look, Phillip. Look at the tracker I watched you with. You are bad too. You cheat MORE than me! Very bad!”

Phillip smiles. “You bought stuff to catch me and I bought stuff to to catch you.”

Philip and Bella rip each other’s clothes off, do the Horizontal Mambo and say, “You’re bad,” “No, you’re bad.”

Grownups are confusing.

Prompt: Spyware

All right, kids. That’s it for this week. Back again next week with more writing adventures!

Scotty out

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