The Wrimo Is Here

So I’m about 3000 words behind already, which isn’t great, but what can you do. I have a million excuses, but they’re either boring and entirely made-up, or real and worth a post down the line, so I’ll save them. (Because I’m greedy about my material like that.)

All I’ll say in the meantime is that my patience is at an all-time low, and if I don’t get into an actual fist fight on the subway by December 1, it will be completely amazing. Seriously, it’s amazing Sgt. Lucky hasn’t made me sleep outside on the stoop yet. I am a grump.

In the meantime, though, I hope November is treating you all well so far, and that you’re feeling less cuckoo-bananas than yours truly.


In Which I Post Every Day, Yes Every Day, for a Whole ENtire Month

I’m doing NaBloPoMo. This is in place of NaNoWriMo, which I did last year, but is too much work for my lazy ass this year.

In order to be fully in the spirit of the thing, I waited til Sunday to commit to this proposition, and am backdating this entry. After the James Frey thing, we have only ourselves to blame if writers will insist on telling us every time they spin the smallest fib.

The Naked Neighbor

My neighbor across the way doesn’t believe in curtains, but she does believe in ginormous cotton underpants, and sitting in front of her window in the mostly-nude. So that’s three things we have in common. My feeling about drapes has always been, well hell, if people are nice enough to do weird things in their window for my amusement, who am I to deny them similar?

I’ve seen a lot of naked people since I came to New York, and none of them probably shouldn’t be naked. My favorite still is the guy who was sitting in his window, having a smoke at 6 a.m. when I was walking home from a party. I saw him and screamed; he saw me and waved. Ah, Crazy Naked Guy.

Speaking of neighborhood nuts, the Opera Guy is back. I heard him today while I was reclining upon my divan, recovering from NaNoWriMo and watching the murders on TV.

I finished that, by the way: NaNoWriMo, not the murders. I could now use about a month of sleep. Sadly, it’s almost time to go back to work. Some day, I will figure out why Sunday night remains loathsome no matter how much you like your job. I suspect it’s equal parts laziness and childhood trauma from having to go back to school Monday mornings.

There you go: All I need to do is figure out how to make that insight into a self-help book, and I’ll never need to get up on Monday morning again.

Human Behavior

One of the most interesting things about doing NaNoWriMo is that it’s given me a rare view into how effing crazy we human types all are – crazy and jealous.

Here’s the thing: Anything you write in a month’s time probably won’t be winning the National Book Award. At best, you’ll wind up with a mess with potential, and that’s all I’m hoping for. The most important thing is keep writing. I’m a little behind right now, but I’ve got more than 25,000 words, which is the most I’ve written on a single project since my senior thesis.

Anyhoo, I’m pretty proud of myself. This apparently is enraging to some people, because you would not believe some of the comments I’ve gotten so far.

Some of them are to be expected, given the context. My ex, for example, listened to my synopsis and said, “It sounds like it could be more than readable.” When I said, jokingly, I’d choose to take that as a compliment, he said, “Yes, it is. A cautious, measured compliment.” But hey, that’s pretty good for an ex, right? Just you wait.

Friday night, a boy I’ve never dated informed me that my subject was one of the most written-about of its kind. He then asked me who I thought would play my main character in the movie, and laughed and laughed.

Last week, a friend of mine asked me if I was still writing the damn thing, when I’d be done with it, and whether I thought it was any good, anyway.

It’s not just me, either: Members of my writing group are reporting similar pissiness from their near and dear. One guy says a friend of his asked him if all he did now was write in pretentious coffee shops, so that other people could see him.

I’m honestly a little flabbergasted at the hostility. It’s not like any of us have book deals. For me, writing a book has long been something on my Big List of Things to Do Before I Kick Off. Because I’m reasonable, I never specified “write a good book” or “write a book that sells a gagillion copies and becomes a New York Times Best Seller.”

My point is that my ambitions are somewhat humble, and therefore, anyone who wants to do what I’m doing, can. Anyone can write a book. All they have to do is commit to writing a couple thousand words on the same subject.

I Am a Terrible Person

Family Guy quote left for Coworker Dennis (a fellow WriMo):

“How you uh, how you comin’ on that novel you’re working on? Huh? Got a a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Got a, got a nice little story you’re working on there? Your big novel you’ve been working on for three years? Huh? Got a, got a compelling protagonist? Yeah? Got a obstacle for him to overcome? Huh? Got a story brewing there? Working on, working on that for quite some time? Huh? Yeah, talking about that three years ago. Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? Yeah? No, no, you deserve some time off.”

NaNoWriMo Is Turning Me Into a Crank

The neighbors are cooking something that smells for all the world like parakeet droppings. I’m starting to really hope that I’m having a stroke instead, because otherwise, those poor souls really shouldn’t be allowed to cook for themselves.

I did see other humans today, you’ll be happy to hear. (Do these posts seem at all like messages in a bottle to you? They seem that way to me.) Anyway, I went out to brunch with a few friends, and then, purely by accident, we wound up going to an open house.

Open houses are a neighborhood pastime, everything that can be condo-ized having been in the past five to ten years. This one was at the top of a rickety five-floor walk-up on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, which is where we keep the restaurants. The view was tremendous, and the place itself was quite nice, long walk up notwithstanding. The only thing that wigged me out was that there was what appeared to be a bricked up doorway in the living room.

“That is obviously the doorway to hell,” I told the Mouse, while he was wincing at some supposedly offensive blond-wood cabinets.

“There was a fire years ago,” he said. “In the ’80s. Maybe they bricked it up then.”

“How do you know?”

“On the other side of that wall exactly is my Mom’s apartment. I grew up like five feet from where we’re standing now.”

“Oh my God! You should buy it! Wait – would she be freaked or psyched?”

“Psyched. She’d bust that door right on down and make it one big apartment.”

The Mouse sounded less than thrilled about that, so I don’t imagine he’ll be buying the place.


I have 3478 words of NaNoWriMo fun in my bank of wordy goodness. This might not sound like much to you, but my sore wrist says otherwise. Other things I have, besides 3478 words and a sore wrist:

1) Two candles that don’t smell.
2) A statue of Ganesha.

This is because I went to the hippie-dippie store across the street looking for a candle that would make my house smell pleasant, and wound up getting rooked into buying crap I didn’t need. This is because I’m terribly gullible, and the guy who runs the place is hilarious. I’ll be honest, it was worth it for the sales pitch, which had everything to do with my root chakra. (Fun fact: If anyone touches your root chakra without your consent, you should tell a teacher or other trusted adult.)

Oh, also, I gave blood this morning, which is another reason I’m stupid and out of it. Laura just called and informed me that I sound like I’m high and should probably sit down and eat something.

I think I’ll do that.