The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Tag: writing

One Word at a Time

I have been lax in my writing. I will blame this on something external to myself, as usual. Today, I will blame being lax on a lack of high quality snack foods in my home. I will blame the lack of high quality snack foods on the fact that I detest grocery shopping and haven’t gone in a while. I will blame the lack of grocery shopping on getting paid only once a month. I will blame getting paid once a month on my employer. So the fact that I haven’t been writing is clearly the fault of The Man.

Based on a phone call I had with [Nameless Person] I am going to try to do better. I know that I can claim to be a “professional” author because of the thyroid-specific articles I have written for Thyroid-Info.com. But what happened to my excitement over the “new” book project that had me out registering domain names in the middle of the night? Lost that energy. So I was rethinking that book and I think I can tweak my approach slightly and still make it work. So I’m going to promise myself and everyone that I will have at least 500 words written by the end of the day Friday. And a minimum of another thousand by the end of the weekend. Of course, by writing that I will find 50 other things that just NEED to get done.

I have to wash my bedspread, for instance. It is covered with dog nose prints. I do not want to sleep with something that smells like a dog. (He probably doesn’t want it to smell like a human, but I have opposable thumbs so I win.) I don’t think it will fit in my washing machine, so I’ll have to actually leave the house to get this thing cleaned. Do you know how much work it’s going to be to get my ass to a laundromat? People, please! I’m only human.

Okay, off to find more coffee. These words aren’t just going to write themselves.

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Merchandise To Be For Sale

I had a huge brainstorm today. I was trying to write tweets that would make it onto this new website http://tweetingtoohard.com and I came up with one that I loved so much I thought it would look really good on things for sale. So I put it up on the website as a tagline, threw a copyright line down on the bottom of the page, and now I’ll get to work designing the product. I think This is going to be the title of the book I’m writing. So consider this my claim. Timestamped (checks watch, 4:53pm) today, May 21st.

Because you are all fans of my fabulous unwritten book, I hope you will buy all the swag that I will have for sale shortly.

In the meantime, don’t tell anyone about my new fabulous title in case someone writes faster than I do.

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Today’s Book Titles

Here is today’s list. You can’t have the first one, that one is mine.

The Adventures of Keychain and Neil
40 Ways to Prepare Cold Cereal
The Rat in the Hat
Helmet Hair: Spending Too Much Time Playing Halo
Even More Ways to Prepare Cold Cereal

p.s. I think I successfully removed the snippet of code that was automatically adding links to key words in the blog to Amazon products. Some of the links were too odd. So from now on, if there’s a link to an Amazon Product in an entry, I added it there myself.

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What’s that Smell?

I am odd. Or maybe not. Or maybe I’m odd for reasons entirely unrelated to what I am writing about today. I’ll leave that discussion for others to have.

As you all know, I’m a writer. I write. I don’t claim to be a Writer (capital W) like some heavily paid novelist. But from age 24 to about age 41, I was a professional technical writer. Got paid to show up every day and put words into a computer. People all over the world read those words – some of them, to not be hurt or killed on the job. Others, to figure out how to get started with their new laptop computers. It’s not glamorous work, but it pays well.

I’ve also written freelance stuff for a newspaper that no longer exists, and I consider myself some kind of humorist, at least at times, with this 11+ year old website. It isn’t a paying gig, but I like it. (Don’t you think I’d be writing more often if it were paying? I do.)

So with that background in mind, I can tell you that over the years, I have purchased probably every kind of notebook ever made. I’m kind of an addict. And the ones I like the best are the ones with thin-ish paper that makes a rustling kind of noise after you’ve written on it. Not exactly like the old air mail paper (does anyone but me remember that? It was super-thin so that it wouldn’t weigh down the envelope and cost more to mail) but not far off. I like thin paper.

So I got a new notebook out of the supply closet at work when I started a new project (because the notebook I’d bought at Staples was really nice, except for the thick paper). I love it. Perfect paper thickness. The ink from my fountain pen doesn’t bleed all over the place.

It smells like it came from my grandmother’s barn. (She didn’t own the barn, she rented an apartment in a multi-family house that happened to have a big (HUGE) barn behind it.) The house no longer exists as it did when she lived there, and the barn is long gone. But when I was about 10 I went in there with older boy cousins I had never met before (because they lived in Mississippi and had come up for my grandfather’s funeral) because you cannot keep a teenage boy out of a giant old mysterious barn. We found some glorious old stuff – in one workroom the calendar on the wall was literally from the 1950s. It was as if the owner had turned off the lights one night and had just never gone back in. To be honest, I’m surprised none of us fell through a floor or needed a tetanus shot after that experience. Knowing me, I probably spent the entire time saying “We shouldn’t be in here! This is dangerous!” whether it was or not.

Anyway, the one thing I still remember from that day (other than the funeral) was the smell. An old abandoned barn can really get quite a stink up. God knows anyone with a dust, mold or mildew allergy would have had to be hospitalized.

My new notebook with the perfect paper smells like it was stored in that barn. I’m so incredibly torn – I want to keep using it, but it stinks! I guess I’ll just keep using it until I can’t stand it any more. Or until I notice people wrinkling their noses when I walk into a meeting. Darn you, notebook supply company! Why did you do this to me?

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Stop Putting Songs in My Head!

Email friends of mine have successfully put the song “Brand New Key” into my head. It’s been there for two days. Stop it! Stop it!

I came up with a book title yesterday. I don’t have a book to go with it, but I’m giving the book title away for free. If you use it, be sure to at least send me a free copy of the book. And then I’ll pull a Wright on you and go on some anti-American rant and people will stand on your front lawn and yell things about you because you took my suggestion for the name of your book. HA! I will PWN you!

Here is the title:

English as a 10th Language

Okay, so go get writing. I’ll be sitting here thinking up titles. I’m working on one right now, the draft version is “English as an 11th Language.” Too clichéd?

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49,999 to Go

It’s that time of year again! NaNoWriMo 2007 is upon us, and if you haven’t signed up yet, go sign up and then join us on the Nano blog I’m setting up for more detailed posting and sharing. Last year 5 of us contributed to that blog, and we were all happy and sad to see December arrive. (You don’t have to sign up to just read, but if you want to contribute, sign up and then let me know to “upgrade” you.)

So I woke up this morning, declared the word “The” to be the first word of my novel and dozed off for another 10 minutes. Writing is hard work. Since then I have decided that “The” is probably not going to be the first word, but no editing allowed when you’re trying to write 50,000 words in a month, so I’ll just write around the “the” and use it later.

For those waiting for Disney pictures, I have to work my way through about 5 gig worth of them. For those of you not waiting for Disney pictures, be happy, I haven’t gone through them all yet.

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Things I Won’t Write About Today

You are not going to be able to read about a few things here today because I am not going to write about them. If you came here to read up on these topics, I’m truly sorry. Maybe next week I will want to write about them, but for now, I will not.

  • My favorite knock-knock jokes that involve dwowning
  • Why I prefer ketchup on my roast beef sandwich
  • The benefits of salt
  • My favorite air drumming songs
  • Why a blue pen is better than a black one
  • Paris Hilton’s prison-issued underwear woes
  • How often the 1920 Girl Scout handbook says you should wash your hair
  • The horror of watching your 3rd grader become a 4th grader overnight
  • Why mentioning Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan is only good for attracting random visitors but not your loyal readers who prefer, say, Fred Mertz prison jokes
  • Suggestions for how to weed through all the coffee cups you have received at trade shows to keep the number under 8
  • Words I can make from my phone number(s)
  • Things Mr. Dump won’t be getting for fathers day

I’m sorry I’m not going to be talking about those things. Maybe if you all feel very strongly about one or more of them, you can convince me to cover the topic. Otherwise, tough it out, people.

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Oh Crap, It’s June 1st

I forgot I signed up for the Nanowrimo offshoot called “Script Frenzy”. I’ve committed to writing the script for a 2 hour movie this month. That’s really going to fill up my spare time, isn’t it?

I wonder what I should write a movie about?

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Best Worst Novel Ever

Just in time for Jody Day, I got a package in the mail. I could not rip the package open fast enough, I tell you. Inside was the most glorious site ever. EVER. My novel, in book form. Oh my Lord in heaven, I just held it and giggled, because it was a real, live book. A crappy book, let’s be clear, but I was holding a perfectly wonderful trade paperback version of my Nano Novel. The Candy Pooping Moose, with my name right there on the cover.

I wish I’d taken more time doing the PDF because I was missing a title page and some other stuff, but as I mentioned before, I uploaded it to Lulu.com the day before the deadline for the free copy. So I stupidly left out the title page, and other important bookly stuff. But that doesn’t matter much because I’m not selling copies, only one exists and it’s mine.

I started to read parts of it and found that in places, it is tremendously amusing. Maybe I’m not completely talentless. So now I’m thinking I’ll attempt to clean it up some, maybe more than some, and make it available to you, my adoring public. I mean, what the hell, right? But it won’t be any time soon, as out of the 50,000 words of the novel, only 30,000 of them are actually usable, and as I mentioned before, it doesn’t have an ending.

Keep poking me with a stick and I’ll see what I can do.

Jody, author

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