Count Down to NaNoWriMo

For those of you not among the certifiably insane, NaNoWriMo might sound like a Welshman with a head cold. For the rest of us it’s an annual rite of self-mutilation, frustration, and high caffination. National Novel Writing Month gives us sad, hopeless, compulsive writers a one month excuse to flip everyone else the bird, knuckle down and write!

The website has a count down clock, which for most of the year is a ridiculously long string of numbers… but the office of letters and light has started stirring again. This the other week I received an e-mail from Chris Batty, the long time organizer of the event who seems to have finally bit the bullet and started writing full-time (God help us all)!

Last year I actually did pretty well. I didn’t finish, but then I’ve never finished, but I did pretty well. Fractured Fractal came into being during last years NaNoWriMo and hopefully it’ll be making its first public appearance later on this year in a ten episode ‘season’. The year before’s offering, which was an untitled space-opera is on a bit of a hiatus, but it’s fully plotted out and ready to go… you know… when I get my butt in gear. As is the year before’s effort, an epic fantasy called ‘Seloc’.

This year I’ve decided to go totally ‘chick-lit’ with a Rom-com-drama. It’s a bit out of character for me, writing wise, but it’s got a decently fleshed out idea and it feels like something I might be able to bash out in the relevent time-frame. Maybe this year, finally, I will conquer NaNoWriMo!

Recession, is it as simple as ‘snap out of it’?

So are we talking ourselves into a recession?.

The above article is by Ross Gittins, the economics editor at the Age. That being the case (and me being hopeless with numbers) I don’t really have the qualifications to argue in any meaningful way with his hypothesis; which seems to be ‘chill the hell out dudes’.

However…

when you combine healthy growth in employment with too-high wage rises you get household incomes growing faster than consumer prices. So if retail sales are weak, it’s not because we can’t afford to spend, it’s because we choose not to – whether out of prudence or fear for the future.

… that doesn’t seem to describe my situation at all. Nor the situation of anyone I know well enough to have some idea of their financial status. If my my retail therapy is down, yah, it’s cuz we don’t have the money! I know nurses, enlisted men, techie’s, casual sales assitants and store managers who are all sucking in and clamping down.
Conduct a focus group and punters will tell you they’re suffering mightily under the rapidly rising cost of living – which is why politicians on both sides are always encouraging the punters to feel sorry for themselves
There’s a reason for that… petrol is darn expensive, my electric bill wont behave, meat is now a specialty food in my house and being a vegetarian wouldn’t be a ‘cheap’ alternative either! I don’t doubt that there are a ton of people with great jobs and pay-packets I can only dream of, who have hardly noticed the bill rises, the cost of meat and the propensity to charge a body part for a tank of fuel… but I don’t know any of them!
There are five adults living in my residence with me! 5! The marketing manager of a chain of food retailers lives out of my shed! You think we’re doing this because we’re paranoid, Mr Gittins?

Desperately attempting SOME kind of Organization…

As the list of stuff to do grows, the energy I have with which to do it diminishes. There’s a formula in there somewhere, but as I’m mildly numeral-dyslexic (no seriously, I freak people out in the store all the time), I couldn’t tell you what it is.

On the 29th of this month I’ll be officially a student again, with what the Uni calls a ‘full-time’ course load. Let’s face it, it’s not full-time by any stretch of the imagination. Combine it with part-time work and parenting and writing and cleaning and procrastination though, and suddenly it seems like I’ve got more stuff than I could possibly finish in three full-time jobs! That’s rot. I know it’s rot, in my mind. I can see around me many, many people who manage to cram a butt-load of stuff into their day while simultaneously raising perfect children, keeping fit and having a spotless house. How the hell do they do that?

My minimums for the coming months are as follows. I want;

  • Three (read ’em 3) gym classes a week. Failing an appropriate gym class, I want to go anyway and use the machines. 3 times a week! 3.
  • There is nothing I can do about how much I work, as I have a policy (re: tiny bank balance) which forces me to say yes to every shift going. These shifts are 9-5. Other people work 9-5 and still manage to do all their other stuff. I will too.
  • At least one day a week, I will devote at least four (4) hours to writing. No excuses. None. I have a supportive husband, a number of live-in baby sitters and Talie is easy enough to get along with. 4 hours. At least once a week. No less!

Jones and Rudd – in good health united

Rein: G’day Alan. How are you?

Jones: Well this is more than a surprise! How is your husband?

Rein: He’s doing so well post surgery. He’s been up, he’s been walking.

Jones: When I had my fourth cancer operation and I was recovering I got a phone call and they said the prime minister’s on the line. And I said what on earth does the prime minister want? And there was Kevin Rudd on the phone and he asked how I was and wished me well. So when I knew he was in hospital in Brisbane I sent some flowers. And I sent the message saying: in politics we may be divided but in good health we’re united.

Rein: And that’s why I’m ringing you to thank you for your kindness in sending those flowers.

Jones: Well that’s very kind of you. We may be divided in politics but in good health we’re united.

I like that. These guys would probably claw each others eyes out in a debate on Global Warming, Economics or any kind of Public Policy… but sometimes they’re just two guys insanely happy to be OK.

Someone missed the memo

DPP urged to act against Thomson.

Seem’s that when the Labor party won and that big memo went out ‘PLEASE DON’T GET CAUGHT DOING ANYTHING STUPID’, this guy was in the lav.

Long story short, it looks like Thomson, from Dobell (my old voting grounds as it were) may have been buying bootay on the company credit card. It goes without saying there has been no trial, or even investigation at this stage so there is always the possibility there’s been a mix-up… still, Labor can not afford to let the liberals have a tilt at a seat as marginal as Dobell.

Things I haven’t finished

There’s something about being in your 20s, married with a rental property a part-time job and a three-year old that makes your to-do list get longer, and your accomplishment list look a little weak…

Can’t quite put my finger on what it might be though.

My to-do list includes:

  • Finish Uni Degree (don’t even care which one anymore, I’m part way through about three)
  • Finish at least one of the three completely plotted out novels sitting in my folder
  • Get this darn Blog organised!
  • Work out how to plant a proper veggie garden (and then do so)
  • Clean the House

Hardly insurmountable, and yet there it remains, largely unchanged since I first penned a similar list last year!