Monthly Archives: November 2012

See that image over there? I did something a lot of other people didn’t.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner. For the benefit of my own ego, I will give myself this virtual pat on the back.

I wrote 59,000 words in the month of November, as part of National Novel Writing Month. That’s around 200 pages, give or take on the font. It’s not that good, but I’ve sure as hell come up with a few ideas for how to make it better, which I’ll be doing soon. I actually need to finish the book. I’m about 95% done. But, for the purposes of NaNoWriMo, anyone that writes 50k+ words is a “winner” so goooo me. Says nothing about the quality of content, but I think when it’s done (which will likely be in several months… yay editing and re-writes!) it’ll be liked by at least… three people. That’s right, I am making the bold claim that there will be at least three people besides myself who like more than they dislike (which technically counts as “liking” something) the book that I just finished writing. Once I’m done editing and rewriting parts of it, that is. I hope that you all hold my feet to the fire on this one. Don’t let me get out of my lofty goal.

All joking aside, it’s been a crazy experience. I swear I’ve only used the thesaurus maybe a dozen times, the dictionary dozens more, and I am going to go donate some money to wikipedia after this post because being able to look up articles on things like the nyc subway was invaluable to adding little references to things that I’ve never even seen. Google street view is awesome, too. Like I mentioned in a post the other day, I feel so lucky to live in this unprecedented age of technology. Every generation likes to feel like they’re special, and we do have many similarities to those who have lived and died before us, but we really do live in a remarkable era, absolutely unparalleled by any other time in all of history.

I think a lot about what caused my dad to do what he did, and I believe a lot of it was a loss of hope. It’s how he and I will always differ, because I (despite all my bitching and criticism) am an optimist. I believe that things will work out. Right now, we’re at this weird point where we’ve had a vast rush of technology, and our sense of ethics, our idea of responsibility, hasn’t caught up. We’ll get there. And if not, the planet will still be here. It will survive.

When I die, I believe that my conscious existence will completely cease. Some will remember me. They too will eventually die. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to do something worthy of being remembered. Some day, even that will fade into obscurity. Regardless of how long I am remembered, or how quickly forgotten, the atoms that compose my current existence– what I believe is all that I am– will persist for a very long time. I take comfort in that.

I went on a tangent. Something I do. You just have to put up with it. I blame the blog-as-confessional thing I had going in October.

Coasting through life

You are probably expecting some kind of introspective ramble about how my life has been one straight line to the next, plotting the paths of least resistance from point eh to point be.

I am not that predictable! Instead, I just wanted to post a quick update. Today is Black Friday, and while Americans nationwide will be standing in lines and elbowing for a better spot at the checkout lane, I’ll be playing with my dog and getting sand in my shoes. Going to the coast today, where I will enjoy a light rain and fifty degree weather. One of the many perks of living in Oregon is that I can go to the ocean pretty much whenever I want, and I am doing just that!

Also, I won NaNoWriMo last night. All that really means is that I’ve passed the 50k word mark. Sitting at around 50,100 words. It feels good to accomplish a goal, even if it’s a mostly arbitrary one.

To close, here’s a picture of Giles from one of our previous trips to Seaside. He’s such a goofy dog. I really love him :)

He makes the best faces.

Born Loser? Not me!

Don’t worry, it’s not genetic.

Last week, as I procrastinated yet again, desperately seeking distractions from the novel I’ve been working on, I stumbled across a website run by a guy named Andreas. He lives in Germany, and likes to collect records. I was surprised to see that he found a record in a thrift store┬áthat my dad recorded in 1969. I was sad because the MP3 links no longer functioned, which is to be expected from a post that is over 2 years old. I emailed him, and was pleased when I received a response today, complete with Mp3 files attached!

I’ve included them here, for your listening pleasure. The first two are from my dad’s record, and the third is a cover that my brother and I did of the second song (I only did the vocals).

Dan Marshall – Born Loser – 1969

Dan Marshall – Lesson From A Rose – 1969

Cover – Lesson From A Rose – 2001

I remember listening to these songs when I was a child. Lesson From A Rose has always been one of my favorite songs, because of the idea that beauty is fleeting but that love can last forever.

My dad committed suicide in 1990. On one hand, it’s nice to hear these songs. It’s been easily over a decade, and I’ve been sitting here listening to them on repeat for the past hour of my lunch break. On the other hand, listening to Born Loser (That’s Me), where my dad sings about how he was born a loser, and never seems to win no matter how hard he tries, is a reminder of the way he viewed himself. He definitely dealt with a lot of difficult things in his life, but I also believe that he helped to create many of his own problems. While I can’t blame him for it, since I know that he wasn’t right in the head, I’ve always felt that he just gave up, rather than continue to fight.

It’s the opposite of how I see myself. I’m not a born loser, no matter how many bad things happen to me, or the trials that life throws my way. I’m a survivor, a winner, tenacious as all hell. No power in the ‘verse can stop me. I will never give up. I feel very fortunate that I live in an age with such technological progress and wonder. It’s so very different from just a short time ago, such a stranger experience than what they went through. We’re more, and sometimes less, connected than they were, and have access to more knowledge in an instant than they could’ve imagined in a lifetime.

Election analysis from a red state citizen

This is a guest post from a friend of mine who lives in the heart of Mormon country. For the sake of his anonymity, we’ll refer to him as Joseph Johnson.

Now that the election is over, and people have calmed down some, I want to give my opinion on why Mitt Romney lost. Before I start, I want to state that I am an independent voter. Before I voted, I researched all the candidates, and voted for two republicans in local elections. I tend to lean liberal, but am by no means a democrat. I believe a two party system is not the optimal situation, but I am also a realist. Right now, a vote for a third party candidate is a wasted vote. While I may agree with a third party candidates views more than a Republican, or a Democrat, they have zero chance of winning a presidential election. I am glad that, on a local level, more and more third party candidates are winning. However, in a national election, a third party candidate just gives another party a better chance of winning. I would rather vote for either a Republican or Democrat that more closely resembles my viewpoint than allow a candidate that I totally disagree with to win. I voted for Barack Obama, but I do not believe that Mitt Romney is an evil person, or that he had some hidden agenda to destroy America. No candidate runs for office with the intent to do anything other than what he or she believes is right for this country. That being said, here is why I believe Mitt Romney lost the election. It all started with the Tea Party “grass roots movement.” Continue reading

Lightcap

I wanted to give a brief update, since most of my writing over the past several days has been dedicated to NaNoWriMo. I’m over 13k words into my novel, which I’ve tentatively titled Lightcap.

If you’re interested in checking it out, I’ve posted a synopsis and several excerpts, which you can read by clicking on this link. Keep an eye out for more news. I hope to have a finished product by the end of the year, or by early 2013 at the latest!