Sunday, November 30, 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008 - Update (final)

VICTORY!

Hey, I did it. I reserve the right to shout it from the housetops if I want to.

That's right. 50,000 words in 30 days. Well, technically 50,646 was the official count. Yep. I wrote a novel.

Of course, I am not done with it, but I have a heck of a good start on it. (Now I just need to keep the dedication to stay with it and finish it up.)

My LW also finished up; of course, she beat me by about 30 hours. It was the first win for both of us. I just want to tell you -- I am prouder of her than I am of me. She did an amazing job. Not only did she finish up, but she also kept me on task and pulled me toward the finish line several times.

-------------------------------
Interesting stats: I kept track of my word count every day and I will tell you, if you ever want to do this yourself . . . do not wind up with seven days of zero words. What happens if you do miss seven days? You wind up writing 28,742 words in the last nine days of the competition.

That's right. Here's my word count day-by-day, starting on November 22, 2008:

  • 4,143
  • 2,516
  • 5,145
  • 785
  • 1,519
  • 3,626
  • 6,380
  • 1,422
  • 3,206


And let me tell you, the 5,145- and 6,380-word count days? They were painful. Very painful. They certainly made the 1,667 word-per-day suggestion seem reasonable.

Curse life and those missing seven days.

But it is over now for another year.

And tomorrow? Tomorrow I start thinking about the story for the next year. 335 days to come up with a story. That, and I will be back to blogging. Ok, my family will also see a happy me again.

But tonight I am icing down my hands.

See you then.

Read More......

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008 - Update 5

O.K. So, after my whine-fest yesterday? Yeah. I pounded out a 5,145-word-day yesterday.

I am a bit wiped-out this morning (I am seeing contrails on moving objects -- but that just makes walking to Court that much more exciting, right?), but I figure this will help cut down the amount of writing I have to do on Thanksgiving. My family may actually want to see me that day, after all.

Thanks for all the positive karma flowing my way. I am going to need it, but I am on the downward slope.

Wheeeeeeee!!!!
(ooooo! Look at all the pretty colors!)
See you all soon.

Read More......

Monday, November 24, 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008 - Update 4

AAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

One week left and I'm nearly a week behind.

Yes, life has been busy this November. Too busy.

Too many words and not enough time. It's all in my head, I just have to get it on paper. And that can be painful, let me tell you.

No time to blog. No time to read. No time to work. No time to eat or sleep.

Hang with me, friends. I'll be back to relative normalcy soon!

Thanks for your understanding!

Read More......

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008 - Update 3

More life. More intervention.

I'm now about a week behind pace; my LW is keeping pace just ahead of me. I think she thinks it is funny somehow. But she is behind as well.

You see, the Horde want to write as well. The three oldest are signed up with NaNoWriMo as well. But they have conspired to keep us behind; I am fully convinced of it.

You see, two of them have now lost their NaNoWriMo notebooks. Last week, that is. They have spent five full days moping about after I get home from work "looking" for their notebooks.

My LW and I have gone blue in the face trying to convince them to just start writing in a different notebook until we find their original notebook, then we can add them together on the computer.

They won't buy it.

And so they mope, and complain, and distract their parents from their writing.

[sigh]

Twelve short days left. Twelve.

I am not going to be eating much turkey this year, I can already tell.

Thanksgiving just won't find me overly sociable.

...and I am unplugging the television tonight.

Read More......

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008 - Update 2

Well, never let it be said that life cannot or will not intervene. I knew that November was going to be bad: busy bad, hectic bad, crazed bad. Here I am not even one-half way through and life has intervened whenever possible.

And my NaNoWriMo work is suffering for it.

As of bedtime last night (12:45 a.m. to be exact) I now find myself 7,716 words off-pace.

That's right. Just over four-and-one-half days behind (4.63--again, to be exact).

Life conspires to intervene. I thought I had planned well enough this year, even considering everything else going on in my life.

This is called, so I am told, "Adulthood."

Somehow, though, sitting at a desk wrangling legal issues through my brain all day makes me sufficiently tired and brain-deadened that when I arrive home I want nothing to do with the evil laptop sitting before me.

That's right. Evil.

EEEEEEE-vil. As in the froo-its of the Devil. (Thank you, Mike Myers.)

The blinking cursor mocks me.

The television goes on; I surf through ten channels of broadcast television. Nothing on. I surf through them again. And again. And again.

That's when my LW, who is also WriMo-ing, screams in frustration and tells me to turn off the television and write. She wants to inspire me, you know.

Of course, she's also 4,417 words ahead of me.

I try to read. Nothing satisfies; neither the sci-fi nor the fantasy novels on my nightstand interest me. The same with the biography. Ditto the history book. I even try the Scriptures...and find myself wondering how I could use some of the things I am reading and translate them into my novel.

That's not the best way to read the Scriptures, by the way. It is also not the best way or most conducive way to get anything out of them, learn from them, or feel the Spirit, necessarily.

That's when I start drinking: Soda, cola, water, lemonade, milk. Things of that nature. A few potato chips or peanuts to keep awake. Ultimately, I drag myself off to bed having written nothing.

Then there's the self-imposed guilt the next day. I think, "Where in my day could I steal an hour to pound out 1,000 words or so?" I feel guilty doing any work, thinking about how I could put that time to use on my NaNoWriMo word count.

Heck. I feel guilty even while writing this blog.

But life happens. Unfortunately, and despite our best laid plans. (Again, see "adulthood".)

(Now.... If I postponed two client meetings today until tomorrow, that's two hours I could have, all to myself....) Ahem. [cough cough]

UPDATE:
By the way, am I the only one that remembers the movie from which I borrowed the above picture? If anyone else can come up with the name of the movie, I would sincerely love to know about it, especially if you have actually seen the movie in question.

I think I am the only one of my friends that ever saw it, let alone enjoyed it. Talk about a movie geek. Sheesh.

Anyway, let me know if you know.

--Now back to working on my novel pleading.

UPDATE #2:

This is, by the way, 560 words that could have gone toward my NaNoWriMo. NOW who feels guilty, Hmmm?

Yep. Exactly.That's what I thought.

No one but me.

Read More......

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Principles of Conservatism

I can take no credit whatsoever for this post. This, my friends, is a FOAF post. ("Friend-of-a-Friend")

I received it from my old mission companion in Salt Lake City. Apparently, the author is a friend of his and, according to the friend's blog post, is "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore."

A phrase that describes a heck of a lot of us, does it not?

Well, this friend is doing something about it. Several somethings. The first salvo in taking back the country is below, in the form of "a declaration of principles." This declaration is repeated below.

13 Guiding Principles for American Conservatism
[with a few specifics & examples]

1] Respect for Deity in all Public Matters
A) The United States was founded by men of faith
B) Most Americans believe in a Supreme Being or Universal Power
C) All morals, ethics, and laws ultimately derive from religious beliefs
D) Only those directly participating in a public activity may choose whether to include or exclude religious observances as part of that activity

2] Strict Obedience to the Constitutional Principles of the Founders
A) The federal government is a creation of the citizens, through the States
B) The Constitution limits federal power and activity
C) Minimal government regulation, maximal personal liberty

3] True National Sovereignty, without which, Nothing Else Matters
A) A complete military with full power and authority to defend against all threats
B) A complete intelligence service placed and equipped to identify and monitor all threats
C) Full support for legal immigration, full prosecution for illegal immigration
D) International cooperation only in situations that profit the United States

4] State Sovereignty within the Federal Union
A) State control over local issues
B) Disbanding federal departments and agencies that intrude on local control
C) Transfer of non-working federal property to the States
D) States proactively defending against federal infringement on their authority

5] Personal Sovereignty
A) Personal privacy respected, regardless of station or celebrity
B) Private control of private property
C) Uniform national regulations on owning and carrying arms
D) Personal accountability in all activities

6] Economic Prosperity Comes through Free-market Capitalism
A) The people retain the rewards of their own labor and creativity
B) Private enterprises succeed or fail on their own merits or mistakes
C) No government sponsored, owned, controlled or invested private enterprises
D) Energy independence in the short term; new energy technologies for the long term

7] Fiscally Responsible Government
A) Lower taxes with no earmarks; decide what we need, fund what we can afford
B) A balanced federal budget (exclusive of national defense), pay down the federal debt
C) A flat-rate income or national sales tax on individuals; no corporate income or inheritance taxes; capital-gains taxed at the same rate as other income

8] The Family is the Basic Unit of Society
A) Marriage defined by law as the union of one man and one womanB) No abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or clear physical danger to the mother
C) Full parental control of and responsibility for children
D) Strict controls over so-called “adult-oriented“ industries

9] The Rule of Law
A) Legislators make law; Executives enforce law; Judges try cases brought before them
B) No judgment based on any consideration except the written law and the facts of the case
C) Zero tolerance for judicial activism
D) Photo ID required of all voters; full disclosure by all candidates

10] Real Public Service
A) Congressional terms limited by Constitutional amendment
B) No political contributions by any group receiving federal money

11] Responsible Environmentalism
A) Act as wise stewards over God’s creation
B) The American dream built with American resources
C) Return the land to its natural state when no longer in use by people

12] Constant Examination of Performance; Building on Past Successes, Correcting Past Errors

13] Teach Pro-Active Patriotism to the Next Generation; Personal Freedom tempered by
Personal Accountability



©2008 Baron Phoenix Media, all rights reserved. May not be published or reprinted commercially without the author’s permission. For more info, visit www.baronphoenix.com

— ### —

It's me again. Consider the first shot fired, Phoenix.

It may be as important as the one fired 233 years ago on the green at Lexington.

Read More......

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Constructive Thoughts: Signs of hate

I came across this piece on the online Los Angeles Times today. When I first opened the link I was greeted by this photo.

I always find it so interesting, so telling, that those who scream the loudest about bigotry, oppression, and hate are usually the ones so filled with prejudice, hatred for freedom of all kinds (except theirs), and who froth so freely at the mouth.

I also found it deliciously ironic that this particular sign appears right behind the spittle-spraying protestor. At least, it would be deliciously ironic if it was not so... so....

Well, let us just say that I doubt this man has love and fellowship on his mind. Not at this moment.

For those who have not yet seen the statement issued Friday from the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election.

Members of the Church in California and millions of others from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation who voted for Proposition 8 exercised the most sacrosanct and individual rights in the United States — that of free expression and voting.

While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process.

Once again, we call on those involved in the debate over same-sex marriage to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other. No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information.

"A spirit of mutual respect and civility."

Wow. What a concept.

An ever-increasingly novel concept in today's political and social discussions.

And maybe I'm guilty in this post of villifying. If anyone finds my post thus, I apologize. Perhaps I am.

But I join my voice to those of the LDS Church, as well as the Catholic Church, in urging mutual respect and civility.

Read More......

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Baaaaaa-aaaaaa


Well.

They've spoken.

They listened to what the rest of the world wanted, instead of what we needed. And they've spoken.


God bless America God save America.

We're gonna need it.

Read More......

Monday, November 03, 2008

I've done my duty. Now do yours.

Well, my votes are cast. All I can do now is have faith and pray.

I'm not gonna 'hope'--that's for the other guy. I am going to have faith that the real Americans out there, the ones that understand exactly what is at stake, I am going to have faith that there are enough that are educated in the process and love the Constitution. I am going to have faith that those people can convince and educate their friends, family, and neighbors.

Because the Constitution IS divinely inspired, and Satan--the adversary--is doing all he can to destroy it. Freedom and families: those are our side's two biggest weapons and the adversary's two biggest enemies.

Remember the argument the adversary made at that great council: I will bring every soul back to God. I will tell them how to live and force them to obey. They will not be required to make any choices, because I will make them all for them. And then, give ME the glory.

Look. Some of you may have different political outlooks than I do. I respect that; that's what makes our system so wonderful--we can have completely different outlooks but still be able to talk to each other rationally and in a friendly way. (OK, at least most of us. I'll leave Michael Moore and Michael Savage out of the equation.)

Just get out and vote.

But make sure it's an educated vote. Don't rely on the media. Rely on your own education and what your heart--what your spirit--tells you is important. Is it forced charity? Is it widespread welfare? Is it national security? Is it the troops? Is it the environment? Decide what is truly the most important for you and yours, and what will have the most devestating impact--for good or ill--on your freedoms, your liberty, your family, and your lives.

Yeah...it may get really cold, or really warm...but wouldn't you like to be FREE?

There are some on both sides of the aisle that seek to take away our liberties and freedom. There are those who have entered into agreements with darker forces and twisted conspiracies to gain their own power and influence over others. Watch for them, be aware of them, and do all within your power to fight against them.

You think I am kidding? or crazy? Consider this:

Ezra Taft Benson, Dwight Eisenhower's Secretary of Agriculture, the first man the US Press predicted to be outed from the administration given his staunch anti-communist and severe anti-socialist policies stated the agenda of what he called the "socialist-communist conspiracy:"

“I have talked face to face with the godless communist leaders. It may surprise you to learn that I was host to Mr. Kruschev for a half day when he visited the United States, not that I’m proud of it. I opposed his coming then, and I still feel it was a mistake to welcome this atheistic murderer as a state visitor. But, according to President Eisenhower, Kruschev had expressed a desire to learn something of American Agriculture — and after seeing Russian agriculture I can understand why. As we talked face to face, he indicated that my grandchildren would live under communism. After assuring him that I expected to do all in my power to assure that his and all other grandchildren will live under freedom he arrogantly declaired in substance:

“ ‘You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.’

“And they’re ahead of schedule in their devilish scheme.” (Ezra Taft Benson “Our Immediate Responsibility.” Devotional Address at Brigham Young University. circa 1968.”)
Remember...this is what we do it for:
In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children. {Alma 46:12-13.}
I join my voice to that of Captain Moroni of old: I pray mightily unto God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon my brethren.

Get out and vote.

And take your neighbors with you.

And, oh yeah....

God Bless America.

Read More......

Sunday, November 02, 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008 - Update

Here it is, the end of the first day of NaNoWriMo, and I find myself with 3,609 words so far. I'm just a little bit ahead of schedule; I plan on building as big a cushion as I can this first week or so. I'm going to need it when I run out of steam in Week 3.

1,667 words a day for 30 days. That's all I am asking of myself.

I am bound to do it this year. It will be a roller-coaster month.

Please keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times. We're on our way!

Read More......