Monthly Archives: October 2013

NaNo Prep (or getting it together before the Big Event)

Call me crazy, but I’m actually enjoying NaNo Prep this year.  Having one NaNo win under my belt, I’m feeling kinda cocky, I know.  But this year, in addition to doing some household planning and work schedule planning, I’ve done some exciting novel planning, as well as special events planning.  What’s that?  Special events planning?  How does one squeeze in special events during NaNoWriMo where all spare moments are focused on the mammoth task of pounding out 1667 words per day for 30 days?

For one thing, Thanksgiving, the major special event of November, comes at the end of the month and I’ve already determined I’d be done with my 50,000 words by then.  So that means I’m essentially doing NaNo based upon a 27 day month which tallies up to 1852 words per day.  If I get in at least 2000 words a day, I get two days free and clear for a sick day and a special event.

Knowing all of this ahead of time helps me.  And here’s where we get to something that’s been nagging at me since working on this website blog over the summer: I’ve let my inner geek out and she’s begun to take over my mindset!

Notice the emphasis on ‘doing the math’ in my NaNo Prep? Relegating a single day for illness or an unforeseen circumstance and another for a special event?  I know better and yet, my inner geek insists that’s the way to NaNo Prep Peace.  And, get this, for added security my inner geek got herself html text to put that sidebar widget you now see on my Blog Page.

This ‘live’ word count gizmo is directly connected to the NaNoWriMo site.  Not only is it cool looking, but it is a type of motivator for me to show off my word count each time it is entered on the NaNo site.  We Wrimos keep track of each other’s daily word counts, but out here in the infinite space of the internet on my website blog that has so many visitors (picture a wry grin on my face) well, it makes me vulnerable and more committed to producing impressive daily word counts!

Oh yes, and what exactly is that special event day going to be used for during the month of NaNo?

A horse show.  Continue reading

Do You NaNo?

It’s NaNoWriMo time again, folks.

Last year, the challenge in doing my first NaNo was to just do it.  This year, it’s to just do it in a different genre.  Yep, it’s only my second time around for this event, but I feel like a seasoned pro.

What exactly is NaNoWriMo?  The clever acronym stands for: National Novel Writing Month.  This extravaganza takes place in November each year and is a wild journey of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.  That’s 1667 words each day.  Every day.  Of course, in my case that’s the bare minimum as I try to stockpile words to protect my Thanksgiving Holiday from the ravages of NaNo.  Since this year’s Turkey Day lands mercifully on the first of the last three days in November…I can finish by then, no problem!  Just in time for the kids to come home for the festivities and enjoy our feast in pure turkeyed-out bliss!

Last year’s approach was purely intuitive.  Continue reading

Dad’s Got His Groove On

Right now, this very moment, something normal, something comfortable, something so very ‘Family’ is happening: Dad is blowing his horn. After weeks of fooling around with re-organizing his music, the bane of us musicians which can become more procrastination than need, Dad’s got his groove on.  He is blowing long tones on the mouth piece, testing out his own custom hand-shaved reeds, adjusting tension on the ligature; just about all the stuff a sax-man needs to get ready to start in on a serious practice session.  Ahh, the riffs, the scales, the bits of favorite tunes, with squeaks here and there as attempts are made to blow those flashy odd harmonics, reachable only by a select and sacred few like my dad.

Dad in his new digs

Dad in his new digs

Even with those super sax-man lungs he’s developed over the years, at age 90 Dad’s biggest hurdle at the moment is more with the stamina required to play a full set.  And yet, I’d give it a couple weeks at the most for him to break through that temporary barrier.

Dad is my inspiration as a musician.  Dealing with skin cancer on the top of his bald head, he loves to recount the story of how he got it in the first place…all my friends had to work days, but I got to lay out on the beach along Lake Michigan and sunbathe since I worked the clubs and joints at night.  It’s almost a badge of professionalism for him, though he advises this generation to stay out of the sun.

Dad at cemetery

A private moment

For the six years since Ma passed away, he put his sax down.  While he kept up a semi-regular practice routine, his (he)art just wasn’t in it.  In this difficult stage of his life, he laced up his dance shoes and began stepping to the music of others. An odd juxtaposition as the pull to play the music was ever nipping at his cha-cha heels.

Just two days moved into this Independent Living apartment and I get to listen to the sounds of my childhood, the background noises of everyday living in our home, the ever present music.  Not from some recording or old radio  show, but coming from the (he)art of our Family’s home: Dad’s horn.