Monday, November 06, 2006


So yesterday I stopped by the gallery to pick up the painting I bought while drunk. [As recounted in this entry]. It goes without saying that I was a little concerned. What if the painting was not quite as impressive as it had seemed on that night several weeks ago? I had thought of going to the gallery to look at it with clear eyes, but decided I would just leave well enough alone. If the painting sucked then I would deal with it when the day came. Well, that day was yesterday and...the painting is even better than I remembered. My first emotion was a sense of relief, which was rapidly followed by the sense of pleasure created just by looking at it. So...whew! Dodged that aesthetic bullet.

I know I don't post here that often. Unlike others with online journals, I don't think of these entries as a private diary made public so much as I think of them as pr or intentionally public dispatches. In other words, I never for a minute fool myself into thinking that what I write is private or personal no matter who reads this site. So when I post here, it is something that I want to share. "Don't mind sharing" might be the more accurate way to put it. This tends to limit the number of things I offer for public consumption, even if my public loves me.

However, it looks like I will be posting a little less this month, if that is possible. Most of my free time will be spent trying to write a novel. My friend Kate talked me into participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short). It is a group that tries to inspire people to write a short novel of 50,000 words during the month of November. The idea is: just write. You have to get in the habit of producing (at least 1,666 words per day, but who gets a chance to write every day?) without worrying about whether it's as good as your favorite author or what people will think of it. Assume no-one will ever read it and just write.

As someone who doesn't do anything unless he has a deadline looming, it is ideal. Unfortunately, why the group picked November of all months, I'll never understand. In addition to having one less day than most other months, it also contains Thanksgiving, which eliminates several days for anyone who travels or has other obligations. But if you keep waiting for the perfect time to write, you may never actually write.

I need some sort of deadline to get most anything done. But paradoxically, whenever I have something I feel like I have to do, I'll avoid it as long as humanly possible. Hence, the length of this entry when I should be working on my novel. Hence, the fact that this weekend I cleaned the apartment, ironed my shirts and finally sealed the cracks along the floors and floorboards that were letting in cold air.

So even if I don't finish my novel by the end of this month, at least all my other chores will be completed. I should point out that my word count is currently at 4,277, whereas my 16 year old nephew TJ is at 6,540.

And no. No-one gets to read the novel when it is finished.


Julie said...

Did TJ tell you about the other novel he's writing? I think the one he's doing for the online thing has his origional set of characters, but he's also developed some characters. Perhaps inspired by Shaun of the Dead and your friend Bob, his new protagonists are zombies. Teenage zombies...and they're in love.

Bob Fingerman said...

I have a zombies as protagonists story, too. An unsold pitch I've been trying to find a home for since the early '90s. Yeesh.

Hey, John, no one can read your book? Not even Jesus?

the hanged man said...

Julie -If TJ manages to get his zombie novel published before Bob does, I'm going to have to go out of my way to keep the news to myself, including hiding TJ's book in the cooking section of stores Bob frequents and pretending that "I've sort of lost touch" with my newphews.

Bob - If Jesus reads my novel, then I'm definitely going to hell...

Number 2 Sister said...

But the real question is . . . will your novel feature the letter "e"?

k.c. said...

you and the 16-year-old are both kicking my ass, but i have the excuse of A Murdered Friend, and i'm pretty sure that brad would love for me to use his death for any nefarious purpose i see fit. nonetheless, i am going to keep writing no matter what, and maybe create my own nano spinoff—60 days, 60,000 words.

of course, if i riffed off of gadsby and wrote a novel using *only* the letter e, i'm sure i could blow past you and the precocious 16-year-old in an hour or two. while vacuuming or folding laundry with the other hand.

but i think i'll keep chugging along, writing sentences that employ all 26 letters of our fabulous alphabet, eating your and TJ's dirt the whole way.