One Thousand Words… Or Two

I’ve just discovered one of the down sides to writing 1000 words a day… that’s all I’m capable of writing.

I’ve already met my goal for the day. I wrote 1000 words on my novel. But a few people have been urging me to not post that work here. Not because it might get stolen, I don’t flatter myself to think someone would actually steal my writing, but because it might inspire someone to write a similar story faster than I write mine.

That’s not a problem if I just let it live on my computer and in my head but if, big if, I actually write this thing, rewrite this thing, rewrite this thing again, try to get an agent, try to get to published, it would indeed be a problem.

So I’m not going to post any more stories of Daniel, Sebastian and Mindy. Frankly, very few people read my fictional posts anyway.

(As a side note, I did finally choose a working title for the book. Risk of Ruin. It’s a poker term for the mathematical calculation to figure out the likelihood of losing your entire bankroll. It’s just a working title, but it feels like a symbolic achievement.)

Today I also did quite a bit of work on the story and now I find that I don’t feel like writing another thousand words.

As my mother told me just today, I have a very short attention span.

I’ve been so focused on making sure that I didn’t write less than 1000 words a day that it never occurred to me that I might not be able to write more than one thousand words a day.

I thought about taking the night off but I have a board meeting tomorrow night, so I probably won’t write. And we have a concert Thursday night, so I might take that night off too. So here I am, writing. Well, sort of anyway.

Tell the truth, writing tonight might not be as painful if I wasn’t reading such a good book.

I finally gave up on a book I had been attempting, Silver Girl by Ellen Hildebrand. It wasn’t hard to read or even bad. It’s just that I had a Christopher Moore new book, Sacré Bleu, waiting for me.

Christopher Moore’s Lamb is my very favorite book in the entire world. I didn’t even have a favorite book until I read it. So I get excited when he has a new one come out.

I was especially thrilled when Fool was published because not only was it by Christopher Moore, but it was a retelling of King Lear. Christopher Moore and Shakespeare. You can’t get better than that, right?

But I was disappointed.

I think it had a lot of do with expectations. The same thing happened to me when I saw Wicked on Broadway.

I love Gregory Maguire’s book. It is one of only four books that I’ve purposely chosen to read more than once, other than the Little House on the Prairie series. (The other three are Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and Lamb.)

My excitement about seeing Wicked was heightened by the fact that the music was written by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell! Pippin!) and it stared Idina Menzel from the original Broadway cast of Rent.

Then I got there and found out that Taye Diggs (also from the original Broadway cast of Rent) was standing in as Fiyero. I was over the moon.

But not for long. I didn’t really like the show. I think it was because I had such high expectations that it couldn’t possibly live up to them.

That’s what happened with Fool. I loved Lamb so much and liked Christopher Moore’s other books too. And I love Shakespeare. So I couldn’t wait to read Fool.

It was good. Everything Christopher Moore writes is good. But it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.

I had slightly lower expectations about Sacré Bleu and it’s helped. I’m really loving it.

I also hadn’t read a really good book in a few weeks, so maybe I’m easier to please right now.

What I don’t love the iPhone chapter guide app that goes along with the book.

It’s a great idea, especially for a book like Sacré Bleu that refers to a bunch of different painters and paintings. It allows you to see the paintings and read about the painters, like footnotes but less annoying.

Or so I thought.

The first version I downloaded was super sensitive to sideswiping. I’d read a screen, swipe the screen to go further down and if my finger drifted left or right just a tiny bit, the app would switch to the previous or next chapter.

Then yesterday there was an update that said it corrected that problem. I downloaded it and now the text is about a half inch wide down the center of the screen, just one long or two short words per line.

And it still changes chapters on me.

So I gave up on the app, but still enjoying the book.

Starting with Sacré Bleu I have set a new goal of learning how to write good book reviews.

I’ve blogged before about my lack of depth when it comes to talking about books. I was struck by how limiting this is as Booktopia last weekend.

People I talked to there could remember details about books they had read months ago and practically repeat passages verbatim. Others spoke so intelligently and passionately about books they had read, that I added them to by Goodreads “to be read” list immediately.

So I want to teach myself how to write a good book review. I plan to start by reading book reviews and figuring out what I like a review to tell me.

Then I’ll give it a shot. Maybe that will be another skill I’ll gain out of this project.

Along with writing exactly 100 words a day, and not a word more.


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