Except apparently I am

I wrote here once about why I’m not writing a novel. It’s been a while since then, and a few things have changed. I turned forty this year, and I’m now semi-seriously looking at buying a house in the small town where I’ve been living for the past ten years. It seems my fear of commitment has abated somewhat – who knew that was even possible?! – and that’s manifesting in my creative life as well.

I got serious about my writing last year. I made a commitment at the beginning of the year to write every single day and I carried it through. There was no word count attached to that commitment, I just had to touch my project every day. So some days it was fifteen words and other days it was fifteen hundred. And as a result, a project that was intended to be a 10,000-word short ballooned into an accidental novel. I finished it on October 26th, and it clocked in at roughly 115,000 words.

I have absolutely no ambitions to publish that novel. It has gone into the trunk, where it will remain forever. But the point was absolutely the journey on this one and not the destination. I learned a huge amount in the process of writing it, not least of which was that I am capable of writing a long-form project and finishing it.

So I’m now in the middle of novel number two. I do have some ambitions for this one, but the most important one for the moment is finishing it. I’m back to writing every single day, and I’ve been at it this time since July 1st. I have a sort-of outline, because I’ve discovered I need at least goal posts to aim for or it’s impossible to move the story forward.

I also have a problem with procrastination at the moment, but that will be a blog post for another day.


Turkey, stuffing, and gravy challah buns

Some horrible dark December evening after having spent the day fighting crowds of Christmas shoppers, I sacked out on the couch in front of the TV. The gods must have been smiling, because channel surfing landed me with two hours … Continue reading

Christmas Crossword

The Globe & Mail, possibly in an attempt to keep families from fighting about politics over the holidays, puts an enormous crossword puzzle in their Saturday edition immediately before Christmas. The clues are very much general-knowledge level, so everyone can play. The challenge is more the sheer size of it – the clues for across and down each run into the 600s.Christmas Crossword

My family discovered this last year, and given that most of us are word nerds, ended up spending nearly all of Christmas Day working on it around our various festivities. We then dragged it with us on Boxing Day as well, to a gathering of my father’s side of the family. I was a teenager the last time we had this particular group of people all together in one place, and yet out came the puzzle at the end of the afternoon so everyone could get in on the action.

Between my siblings and their spouses, my cousins, their spouses and grown children, my parents, my aunt and myself, we got all but three answers. Those three we googled on the way home.

This year, we have no Boxing Day gathering. We got pretty close to halfway through the puzzle yesterday with only the immediate family (no cousins). I think the plan is to hang on to the rest until the next time we gather, which will probably be my mom’s birthday in January.

Although I might cheat and pick away at it between now and then. Because: word nerd.