ready, set, go?

All the Nanowrimo prep posts are making me nervous. Mostly because there’s been no prepping in this corner, and 1 November is in less than four hours here.

. . . I’m still not sure what I’m writing. I’m not sure why I’m still thinking of participating. This is either going to crash and burn spectacularly or there’s going to be word vomit in the most epic way. I won’t bet on the latter, though.

(Oh, there is an outline, kinda sorta, but it builds on other stuff that I haven’t really worked on, and the characters don’t even have names and I’m not even sure if this is going to be in third person limited.)

Will I be posting updates here? Maybe, for accountability reasons and so forth, because, hey, I suck at keeping promises to myself. I don’t think I’ll be posting excerpts, though, since I’m the kind of person who edits the heck out of her posts before hitting that ‘publish’ button and there probably won’t be enough time for edits.

Good luck, fellow participants.

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deus ex machina

The click of Maya’s heels echoed in the corridors as they walked towards the server room on the third floor. Jerry scanned his access card and pushed the door at the sound of it unlocking. “Make sure you tag in and tag out, otherwise security will think someone unauthorised is in the room.”

Maya nodded, passing her own card over the panel. No response. She tried again, and the red light flashed twice. Jerry glanced at it. “I told Adrian to add your—” He broke off when it beeped and the light flicked green. “Huh. Never done that before. I’ll ask Adrian to take a look later.”

She gave the scanner a dubious look before following him in. The drop in temperature made her shudder. “I guess I should’ve brought my jacket.” The hum of the air conditioning system was almost as loud as the servers.

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fifty thousand words isn’t really that much

So, are you attempting Nanowrimo this year? I’m still on the fence.

I’ve just checked in at the website and it says that I’ve been a member ‘for about 13 years’. Holy word count, Batman. (It could be more than 13, but they only started properly tracking in 2002, and I honestly can’t remember when I first got dragged into that insanity.) I didn’t participate in all those 13 years; I skipped more than I participated. And I’ve never won.

Yep, I’ve never hit that 50,000 word mark in the last 13 years, be it in 30 days or not.

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drifting towards the open sea

"And sometimes I drift towards the open sea, further and further away from you."
The text reads: “And sometimes I drift towards the open sea, further and further away from you.”

This was actually a line from a poem I was trying to write, and it was the only line I liked from it. The piece was low key and melancholic, but I didn’t like it as a whole. I pulled out this line and started experimenting with the font size and colours, partly as a passive-aggressive protest against all those cheery inspirational posters my friends kept sharing on Facebook. I was also fascinated by the idea of using only one font for a graphic without any illustrations, doing away with all the fancy borders and curlicues.

I’d been playing with the graphic on and off for months, because, well, what do I do with a line without context? I could post it on Facebook, but I’d get raised eyebrows and questions about what I was trying to hint at, so nah. Now I get to use it in the Discover challenge: mixing media.

Halfway through the word ‘further’ stopped making sense because I was staring at it too much. And then I started worrying about the difference between ‘further’ and ‘farther’. (Before you protest that one pertains to physical distance and the other to more abstract concepts, the Oxford Dictionary doesn’t really differentiate the two words and points out that ‘further’ is more common. It might be an American vs British English thing, but I’m definitely partial to ‘further’.)

The graphic was made using Inkscape. The font used is Georgia, in various sizes.

nice to finally meet you

I fumbled with the doorknob, glad to find it unlocked, since I there was no way I could have managed it with the stack of copies I was holding. I almost tripped over the boxes sitting by the doorway. “Damn it, Evan, didn’t I tell you to put those back on the shelf?” I shoved the door fully open with my shoulder to see Ramesh standing in front of the whiteboard instead, an eyebrow raised, and another student I didn’t recognise lounging on the only empty seat we had by the wall. Not from our course, then (we were pretty small), but I felt I knew him from somewhere. Material sciences lectures, maybe?

“Evan went out to get … something,” Ramesh said, gesturing vaguely at the door with the marker in his hand. “He took your car keys. Sorry about the boxes; I just pushed them aside. I thought he was doing something with those circuit boards?”

“We’re lucky he didn’t explode the room,” I said. I looked around, trying to find somewhere to put my papers. Our guest stood up, and I deposited my burden on the chair. “Thanks,” I said to him, and he shrugged, and I turned my attention back to Ramesh. “Seriously, though, did you have to put Evan in charge of this thing? Now he’s panicking and pushing everything on to me! He’s got no sense when it comes to delegating work.”

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