Recently my “secret” for coming up with blog topics was discovered: I base most entries on conversations in which I am asked for an opinion, answer, or guidance. In those conversations I realize the information is often beneficial to more than just the individual with whom I’m talking, and thus a blog post is born. This, my friends, is one such post:
I was discussing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with a friend who is going to be undertaking the challenge. Naturally I had some advice and words of encouragement, and recalled a few blog posts from ears past when I tracked my own progress through the month-long challenge. I figured those may be helpful in some way… so, in tribute to the upcoming 2013 edition of NaNoWriMo, in which many people will be endeavouring to write their own 50k word novel in thirty days, I’ve rounded up my old NaNoWriMo posts.
From my 2008 attempt:
From my 2011 attempt:
Keep in mind as you read through the above posts, I was blogging in-stream while also trying to write 1600+ words per day. Transitioning from stream-of-conscious word-count focused writing to more structured and self-edited blogging was difficult, and it shows in the disjointed posts. Let that in itself be a lesson: writing that much every day is not a small task, but still, it can be done… even while maintaining a 40-60 hour work week and still being somewhat social.
And for those curious, no I won’t be undertaking NaNoWriMo this year… but, I will be making a more concerted effort to use the month to focus on some other writing that I want to accomplish. Using the NaNoWriMo structure as motivation may help me actually get some old goals moving forward.
image credit: (c) 2013 NaNoWriMo.org
Last week, Jean and I journeyed out to the coast for a brief 3 day respite at the Sylvia Beach Hotel; a lovely, historic place, where wi-fi does not exist. So, in honour of Jean’s birthday we simply relaxed; sitting by the windows of the third floor library, feet up, nose in our books, only to periodically lift our heads to stare out to the sea. The image to the left is the view to the north from our room, also seen from the library’s north side window as well. This should give you a fair sense of the mood of the trip.
Out through the west-facing windows was only the open sea. At glances, the current of the ocean from North to South, gave me the impression of movement; as if on an ocean liner bound for some great destination. I was struck with a sense of journey, of travel without leaving the comfort of the hotel’s library. My wanderlust both stoked and simultaneously satiated; a juxtaposing desire to go and yet remain still. It was the perfect storm of emotions for diving into a book and devouring page upon page.
We did get out for a bit as well, both nights taking part in the family style dinner, and engaging in wonderful conversation with our table mates. We also made our way up the beach a bit to gawk (before it was removed) at the dock which had washed up on the shoreline after the Tsunami had broken it loose of its moorings in Japan. Of course, being us, we also made it out to the two local lighthouses. And Wednesday as we departed for home, we made one last stop at the Aquarium. All were fun and worthwhile endeavors, providing me with a few photo opportunities, but none of which compared to the opportunity provided to just sit and be.
So, enjoy the photos, but know that they won’t do justice to the experience of staying at the Sylvia Beach Hotel…
I have a lot of stuff floating around in my head when it comes to content for this blog whether it is relevant to current events, social media, or just aimless ramblings. Sometimes, though, the best thing I can post is another’s words in place of my own:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion… ”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
These have been echoing in my head recently; words that have followed me for over twenty-three years since I first encountered them in high school, thanks to the Dead Poet’s Society. Words which have been shaping who I am ever since.
Now, excuse me for a bit as I go outside to sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world and celebrate myself…