1. I hit 40,000 words on my novel this weekend, which is the official halfway point. Rather than making me elated, all it did was fill me with soul-sucking darkness at the thought of all that still needs to be done.
2. But there is hope! I found Absolute Write, a great online discussion board for writers—I have no idea how I missed it before—and signed up for an account and posted of my despair. I got 20 responses right off the bat from a great group of supportive writers who assured me that the halfway point of a novel is notoriously the worst, and to hang in there because it gets better. I’ve been posting on the board like a fiend and reading it obsessively. It makes me feel a lot less alone in in the process of writing a whole entire book.
3. I heard two great podcasts over this weekend: Psychiatrist Phil Stutz on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, and the short story, “Secret Santa” by Jonathan Goldstein on the CBC’s Wiretap Radio. Choice quotes:
“For after all his years of giving, Santa knew better than anyone that we don’t always receive what we want, nor even what we deserve. We receive what life brings us. And when it comes to life, we haven’t a choice but to open our arms.” -–Secret Santa, by Jonathan Goldstein
“The force that accepts what is, is love.”—Phil Stutz
4. I haven’t killed my new Beta fish yet.
5. Mr. Typist got all sullen yesterday because he said that I never read books he recommends for me. So to appease him, I agreed to read R.A. Salvatore’s “Homeland”, Book One in the Legend of Drizzle series about the Drow—the Dark Elves of Menzobarranzan. So far so good—the women are in charge of warfare and wield whips with live snake heads attached to them, something called “faery dust” creates all the color in the land, and the scheming Dinin rides into the elf university on a giant lizard mount. What’s not to love?
6. Christmas isn’t annoying me as much as it normally does this year. I think I’ve just come to accept it. Or maybe it feels less real because it's shoved into the middle of the week on a Tuesday and Wednesday.
7. The video below demonstrates why it’s important in storytelling to have characters who make frequent ill-advised decisions: