An ode to ‘o’

At a nano event a couple days ago, a friend jokingly blocked my view of my computer during a sprint. She wanted to beat my word count.  She knocked over a glass of water on my laptop. I tipped it back and water dripped from my keyboard. I did what I could to get it dried out.

But alas, my ‘o’ key stopped working.

I never really thought about how many words have o’s in them. At first tried using a 0 (Zero) as a replacement since it looked so similar. But it made me feel like I was ten. K3wl

I figured out that I can copy and paste an existing o.  That’s how this blog post was created. Spell check doesn’t set all the missing o’s.

Holy Annoying, Batman!

Everything takes so long. And the pauses…  Gah!!!    The pauses to paste are driving me wild.  I will drop it off at the shop tomorrow.

I am not going to let this set back stop me.

I finished my word count for nano early and I am going to print out my WIP and work that until I get my computer from the shop.

What do you when things don’t go your way?

The chance

My best friend and I in college swore we would never use the automatic doors in stores.  Why would we?  It’s not that hard to open a door.

Years later, I walk out from Target, through the automatic doors. I think not only has it been years since I used the push doors, but I think about her.

She was my first friend who died.

My first lesson in making sure you end each day with closure.  Her passing taught me to listen to that little voice that says it’s been too long since you have talked to someone.

Because what if either of you were to die?  Did you want to regret that you never told them how much they mean to you?  That sort of regret follows you around for years.  It would be better to call.  To reach out.  To try.

I wonder what our relationship would have been like had she lived.  Would we laugh about how nice it is to use automatic doors?

I wonder if she would have forgiven me, if given the chance.


I was thinking about the web of connections we make in our lives and the methods we use to communicate.

I’m not a super social person. My day-job is a remote position. I do spend my days in wall-to-wall phone meeting, email tsunami and IM flood.

My order of preference for most communication is Text/IM/Hangouts then email then phone, then in person. And well after smoke signals and Morse Code would be Vlog or video calls/chats.

When I see Vloggers and vids on FB, I just don’t get it. I’m not sure it’s an age thing. Maybe it’s because I feel talked at or that they feel awkward.

Like a first date.

The person could have a head toss that drives me insane. Or crazy hands trying to escape from their body. Or maybe they will stare at me like that crazy dog in the pound in Shaun the Sheep the movie. ( )

So for me, until I know you won’t be subjected to my hair-trigger eye rolling, let’s stick to a non-video form of communication.

What are your communication pet peeves?

Argg la la la

I am so over committed between the day job, nano and three classes that the only idea I could come up with for this weeks blog post was about my son. 🙂

My son got a pirate costume for his recent 4th birthday.  It came with a hat, an eye patch, one piece pirate suit with collar, a sword, a gold earring and a hook.

He wore it all including the earring. 

I asked him, “What does a pirate say?”

His response, “Argg la la la.”

Argg La La La-2.png

This may be a picture of my son in his pirate costume.


“Yup, mommy see…” He ran through the house and shouted “Argg la la la.”  His sword swished through the air.  His hook raised above his head. “Argg la la la.”  And then he laughed.

He wanted me to take video with my phone. I did and when I showed the video to him, he laughed and wanted to record another one.  And another one.

I bet he ran for twenty minutes.

Needless to say he slept well that night.

What was the funniest thing your kids have said?

Top 4 ideas to have a successful Nano

During the month of November many writers gather to Nano ( Nano is the effort to write a novel (50K words) in the month.  This is my twelfth year doing nano.

Here are four ideas that could help you finish.

4. Be kind and relax

Be kind to yourself and others. Everyone works differently. This is a great experiment to see what you can accomplish. How you get there will not look the same per person or even per year.

In the past, getting too wound up about the ‘right way’ to Nano made me want to quit.

So relax, it will be fine.

3. Schedule time

If I don’t schedule something I want in my life, it doesn’t happen. Nano is the same way. I look at the month and block out writing time.

2. Keep pace

I’ve done nano for twelve years now. One year I was 20K behind and only two days left. I did nothing but type and sleep those last two days.  I made it by moments.  My hands ached. I didn’t want to write for awhile after finishing.  It was stressful. The writing even less useful than normal.

Other years, I actually finished ahead and wrote to a schedule. Those years I felt good about the effort.

For me at least, keeping pace helps.

1. Sprint

Find a buddy to sprint with.  This could be in person, via IM or even email. Set a timer and write. Let the words flow. I personally would rather get a slightly lower count, but feel better about the words.

The key for me is having that person engaged. There is enough competition that I won’t wander away to FB.

How about you? Are you a first time nano-er? Long time nano-er? Never heard of it and interested? What do you do to make nano successful?