The Madness Begins

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." -Marilyn MonroeNaNoWriMo began today. Despite not having finished anything I had planned to, I still managed to start writing my latest novel. The others will just have to wait. This story has been bugging me for the past year and a half, and I’ve discovered details in the past month that make me need to explore this alt-present sci-fi world pronto. Even so, I’ve fallen so out of the habit of drafting new fiction, it’s been a slow start for me. I’m grateful for the potential of some combination of morphic field transference and inner compulsiveness/competitiveness that may help me pick up my pace over the next few weeks.

I’ve finished 50K words in November twice before, so I know it’s possible. Given hubs’ support and no other plans for the month, I should be able to repeat and regain my fiction-writing mojo.

We’ll see.

We certainly haven’t regained our walking mojo: We had another three-walk week, totaling just 3.5 miles. Part of that was certainly because the long days at the office while we had our subcontractors and SMEs in town left me too tired to do anything once I got home. Paraphrasing how one colleague described the circumstance, “we used all our words while we were at work, and didn’t have any left over for our families.”

On the other hand, it meant a few bonus nights of cuddling up with hubs and watching our shows. The newest one is The Worricker Trilogy. Hubs and I have spent the past couple days shaking our heads at the fact that a spy thriller had no bullets flying and no ridiculous car chase scenes, and yet was thoroughly gripping. The characterization in the films was a master class by writer David Hare and managed the amazing feat of turning protagonist and antagonist into largely meaningless terms–all the characters were complex and driven by entirely reasonable aims, each of which set everyone against everyone. Of course the audience roots for the titular character, Johnny Worricker, and (spoiler!) he achieves the end he pursued across the 3-film story arc, but the final scene shows the experience to have been a Pyrrhic victory. The layers of development and the richness of every character included played with all the complexity of the real world. It left us wanting to re-watch the whole set to pick apart how Hare managed this, and marvel once more at the subtlety every actor (and there were more than half a dozen A-listers involved, including Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Winona Ryder, Christopher Walken, and Helena Bonham Carter, and another bunch of good actors recognizable from a host of niche TV shows and movies). In particular, I had never imagined a mature Winona Ryder able to achieve what she did in the second of the three films. It was thoroughly satisfying to see women and men shown with both sympathetic and less-than-admirable traits in the context of the ongoing War on Terror. I would highly recommend it for anyone who likes mystery, political intrigue, and complex characterizations.

The other good news of the week was that Felix seems to have pulled out of his funk. He’s in medicated water and has switched to food that is in a ziplock baggy (i.e. not stale from too much oxygen and who-knows-what exposure), and back to enthusiastic eating, as well as interactive finny dancing when we wiggle our fingers at him. The bad news: I’m going to have to make time this week to boil all the stuff from his other tank and resettle him there so he has more space and his toys again. Ohwell. At least he seems no worse for the wear.

Until the end of November, then, I’ll be focused on generating a whole new story. And being inspired by 60 quotes from Gautama Buddha hubs forwarded this week. I’ll continue to check in to report on progress, but may or may not be fully coherent by the end of the month.


In the meantime, enjoy the updates from my ROW80 cohorts.

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2 thoughts on “The Madness Begins

  1. Good luck to you with NaNoWriMo! You can do this! The movies sound great – what a cast of actors. By the way, how did you do the “Works in Progress” bars on your sidebar? That’s really cool!

    1. It’s a WP widget (plugin) Gayla recommended to me called Dave’s Whizmatronic Widgulating Calibrational Scribometer. You can control how big it is, what colors it displays, and the author is responsive to donor requests for additional features. 🙂

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