Oh, HI THERE!

My goodness, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen you.

You’ll excuse my absence, please…I’ve been holed up, working on my project for National Novel Writing Month. It’s over now, though, and I should really stop neglecting this ‘blog. A lot has happened, and since I’m not really very good about keeping a written journal any more, I must confess to feeling a little bit scared that if I don’t jot something down on these digital pages, one day I’ll wake up and realize that whole chunks of life are missing from my memory. Yikes!

But that won’t happen with November, because really, all I did was write.

The NaNoWriMo experience is fascinating. I learned a lot of things about myself. First and foremost, perhaps, that I write very quickly. This is mostly because I’m very good at letting myself ramble. So maybe it’s not really that I’m a speedy writer; it’s that I generate a lot of text in a short period of time because I’m turning things over in my head, and that translates directly into words on the page. (I have absolutely no doubt that the current 50,000 words I have down now will gradually be whittled down into something not even half the size.)

Second, I learned that I really do love to write.

Third, I learned that I also like the process of a verbal dump first, and then whittling down second. I don’t think this is any real surprise; after all, this is my second time with NaNoWriMo, with much the same results. Also, this is, if I think back to my editing life, the way it’s always been with me.

So there’s another year over. I am deeply grateful to the NaNoWriMo process; I’d informed my critique group that I was going to have a revision of my latest book to them by the first of November, and, after two months or so of doing nothing but working with existing text, it was a sheer pleasure to spend a whole month indulging in logorrhea.

Okay, who’m I kidding? I have been doing other things since since last I saw y’all–I went to a TweetUp at a lovely winebar in Mt. Kisco and met a bunch of great people that might lead to more freelance relationships. I’ve got a new freelance gig that looks like it might be long-term, writing copy for an awesome company. (Yes, that’s my copy you see on the front page.) And there are other things going on. But not exercise, sadly. This time last year, I ran a marathon! (Today is the annual Death Valley marathon, at which I had fully planned to be this time last year. Oh, the best-laid plans…)

I’m still completing my applications to a few MFA programs, but I’m looking forward to several more freelance projects between now and then. I guess, the thing is, although I’ve really enjoyed this freelance lifestyle for the past umpteen years, it’s time to step up my game, either with more challenging, enjoyable freelance projects (I count the work for hipsandcurves.com in that category) or with publication of one of the four manuscripts I have lying around.

Perhaps this is all just year-end ruminating, but I feel like I’m approaching a period of great activity. I’m visiting my friend Jody in her new home in North Carolina in a week; I’ve got several freelance projects immediately on deck that I need to take care of; and the completion of those applications will be the crowning point, I think, of that activity. The Christmas holidays will be here in no time flat and I want to go into them–and come out of them–feeling refreshed, happy, and satisfied.

And no, I’m not thinking about any revisions for my most complete novel to date, even if I’m sitting on top of a bunch of great feedback from my critique group. That is, not until Monday, anyway.

Here are some photos from the three weeks I’ve been away from TheGoodDirt.

parkHere’s the park across the street from us. Sprocket and I poach it every morning. We like it there, although it’s only a 1/3rd mile loop around.

ciprianiHere’s Jen, Anna and me at Cipriani Dolci, where this happened to me, but where, nevertheless, I had a terrific time with my friends.

mejimgrandmasHere are me and Jim and an errant biplane on the shores of Lake Michigan by Grandma’s house in Sheboygan the day after Thanksgiving. I love her house. She’s been living on the same plot of land for all of her 84 years. Pretty cool.

dantreeWe helped Dan shop for a tree after Thanksgiving. It was so nice to see him, even if he was terrifically jet-lagged from his time in Hawaii. Rough life, I say.

bunnyearsOur amazing friends Lisa and Ron hosted a dinner party for us. Lovely! They made pasta that impressed the Italian at the table, and we played a rollicking game of dominoes. (Really? Did I just say that? Yes.) A mis-communication between the photographer (me) and the photographees (them) resulted in the above ridiculous photo.

And now, onto a continuation of my own rough life: Reading, writing, not exercising. Sigh.

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4 Comments »

Writer, editor, general crazy-pants.

4 Responses to Oh, HI THERE!
  1. Mike says:

    Did I congratulate you for finishing yet? If not, CONGRATULATIONS.

    If I did, then please ignore the first sentence of this comment … which might well render this sentence somewhat confusing.

    But well done anyway!! 😉

    • Yi Shun Lai says:

      you did, you did. thank you! :) and then in the second and third sentences you went all metaphorical on me and i spent an inordinate amount of time trying to imagine your post without the first sentece…

  2. John says:

    NaNoWriMo is a great idea – I see no reason why one couldn’t self-impose this in any month of the year to get a novel going. Congrats on finishing.

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