52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I want to live where soul meets body**


If I'd thought about this for long enough to realise that I wasn't going to be able to churn out 50,000 words in a couple of hours, then I might not be in this mess.

According to a motivational email that NaNoWriMo sent me today, the second week is the hardest. It's here when your target seems ridiculously far away and your plot seems at its most ridiculous. Apparently it gets easier from here, but that's easy for them to say, right?


I was determined that I wasn't going to let this thing rule my life, but it's slowly taking hold.

The good news is that I think I've worked out how to get out of the rut I think I got myself into over the course of the first 16,000 words or so.

Someone's going to have to die.

I'm sorry to say that Siobhan is going to be kicking the bucket later on this evening. Before I get to 20,000 words, she will have died a slow and lingering death from cancer. It sounds cruel, but I won't be dwelling on her death too much as it's the funeral that I'm really interested in. I think the death of a friend may just be the thing that Jim needs to send his life into a spiral and convince him to get in touch with Ben.

I know. I'm sick.

Actually the idea was one of two things that struck me when I was swimming at the gym this evening. I think the second thought was by far and away the more profound though: I was reflecting on why I had to be sharing my lane with the two fat blokes with straining beer guts, saggy man-breasts and stretch marks (one of them wearing a pair of too-tight speedos with an alarming tuft of hair sprouting from the top). The thought? Why are the girls in their bikinis always swimming in the other lanes?

It's not that I'm a pervert, you understand, it's just that I would far rather be swimming behind the girls than the fat blokes (although, to be fair, there is something amazing about watching a really fat man swimming fast - it's mesmerising).

Is that really so strange?


** title courtesy of Spin - claiming the prize Aravis won in the bookshelf competition and generously shared with Spin (I haven't forgotten about your CD either Aravis...).

Tomorrow will be a better day Spin.


This post brought to you by "Road Rage" by Catatonia and "Milk" by the Kings of Leon. Ah, the wonders of shuffle.


Update 23:24

20,190 words done & Siobhan is dead.....


  • At 10:02 pm, Blogger Alecya G said…

    I totally feel your pain on the word count obsession. And i wanted to add I loved the excerpt from the post below. I don't get over here often enough.

    Don't worry about quality in NaNo, its quantity that counts. And during NaNoEdMo, you can cry at the pitiful nature (or not) of your story.

    That little email made it worse for me, how about you?


  • At 10:16 pm, Blogger HistoryGeek said…

    Thanks ST, today is already better than yesterday, so it should continue to get better.

    As for the pool...here's the mystery I always pondered: Why is there always a fast swimmer (who then acts indignant and impatient) in the slow lane? I've never been "taught" to swim and so my crawl is really a crawl. It would just annoy the hell out of me when someone who was clearly an Olympic qualifier decided to join my lane.

  • At 10:25 pm, Blogger swisslet said…

    ha! what about the guy who you let swim out in front of you so that you have a bit of space, only to find that they decide to take it easy at the other end of the pool, before kicking off just as you are reaching out to touch the end of the pool, meaning that you have to wait again to give yourself a bit of space... and repeat.

    Or the person who carefully looks the pool up and down and decides to get into your lane, in spite of the fact that all of the other lanes have fewer people swimming in them?

    Or the person who decides to swim backstoke in rush hour?

    Ah. I exercise to relax, you know.


  • At 11:07 pm, Blogger LB said…

    i don't recall ever swimming behind a fit woman.

    although at the gym yesterday, I did (entirely accidentally) end up on a treadmill behind two quite fit women..at least from the rear - if you see what I mean.

    bored of writing, have gone to the pub tonight instead. much better.

  • At 11:54 pm, Blogger Damo said…

    I swim every day, and today in the changing rooms, a man of about 60 was talking about how he unofficially competes with whoever is near him.

    Seems odd to me... I always associated that more with gym culture (a well informed view, given that I've never been in a gym in my life) than swim culture. I get in every day, head down, get going. It's at my workplace and occasionally someone says 'I saw you swimming today' and I have to admit that I didn't see them. Whether they believe me or not is up to them but it's the truth!

    So, erm, back on topic, I guess I'm saying that I don't really notice who's in there - I know many of the men because we chat in the changing room each day but I don't even know which women go in or what their figures are like... perhaps I am odd. Bee? Am I odd?

  • At 12:02 am, Blogger swisslet said…

    the unofficial competitors? Oh yes. I'm familiar with them too, and their close relatives --- those people who think they are swimming much faster than you and so you let them past, only for them to then immediately slow down right in front of you, forcing you to slow down to leave them a gap.... and then when they are behind you again a little later, they speed up... and so on and so forth.



    (and I'm always looking around when I'm swimming. I can't help it. It drives me mad to just count lengths and I need some sort of external stimulus. Today I counted lengths, thought of a new plot development for my nano novel, watched the fat blokes, wondered where all the women in bikinis were, worried about the loss of power in my shoulder & the pins and needles in my left hand and kept an eye on C. swimming in the lane next to me. It helps pass the time you know.)

  • At 12:03 am, Blogger swisslet said…

    maybe I should go back to swimming without my contacts in... that way I could never see bloody anything.

  • At 12:18 am, Blogger Michael McClung said…

    I've been introducing characters for the expres purpose of killing them off... it's terrible what nanowrimo does to you...

  • At 6:07 am, Blogger Aravis said…

    No indoor swimming pools around here, so I'm enjoying this discussion immensely. The aquatic social order is pretty funny. When they're not disgusting. Fat old man with hair spillage? Ew.

    I think I should take up Mercer's method of writing. It sounds so cathartic.

    My continued best wishes for luck to all fellow NaNo's. :0)

  • At 6:08 am, Blogger Aravis said…

    Oh and ST, no worries. I know you're busy. You've got a word count and a deadline just now.;0)

  • At 6:40 am, Blogger Michael said…

    what's wrong with being a perv?

    *looks around suspiciously*

  • At 9:01 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This stuff about it being awful having to share the swimming pool with fat people, old people and people with their hair falling out sounds awfully like body fascism to me. Human beings are not all meant to conform to the media's definition of attractive and healthy. We need to realise that diversity equals humanity. Everyone is different.

  • At 9:24 am, Blogger swisslet said…

    MM - I'm only saying, from a purely shallow point of view, who I prefer to swim behind. I'm not making any judgement about fat blokes with beer guts, other than that I find them less pleasing to swim behind than certain other body shapes. I'm not taking back that bit about speedos though - no one should wear those. They're just wrong. Don't be so willfully sensitive.

    And for reference, *my* hair is falling out.

  • At 10:52 am, Blogger red one said…

    Did Siobhan drown in a swimming pool by any chance?


  • At 5:59 pm, Blogger HistoryGeek said…

    I guess I've never swum with my contacts in, so I pretty much can't see unless the person is just in front of me.

  • At 6:39 pm, Blogger Jenni said…

    I feel like I am in a different blog dimension. All of the blogs I read have been taken over by NaNoWriMo, and now you've even turned into a murderer. Tsk tsk.

  • At 6:58 pm, Blogger Poll Star said…

    Now I may have been a bit out of it when we were discussing this, but I hope I would have remembered an inspirational choice of character name such as Jim-I think I see what you've done there. And I was impressed by Carl.

  • At 7:38 pm, Blogger Flash said…

    Since when has one been a pervert for admiring the bodies of bikini clad swimmers?

    Nor do I think it's body fascism.

  • At 7:42 pm, Blogger swisslet said…

    I was quite pleased with Carl as well... any character inspired by Dr Carl Kennedy can't be all bad, right?



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