[ j o u r n a l ]
The following online journal entries are from October 2001.
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NOVEMBER, THE MONTH OF DOOM (EXTREME WRITER SPORTS)
In the usual Ed fashion, I have decided to tackle the greatest
number of projects all in the same time-space window -- November.
Grad school applications, looking for a new job, hoping for a
new place to live after getting the best job in the world,
taking standardized testing, and finally pushing my creative
limits to the extreme.
Yes, extreme writer sports (not winter sports). What is that
you ask? Writing everything by hand? Writing on unlined paper?
Attempting to use Microsoft Windows XP? No, none of that. What
I'm talking about is
National Novel Writing Month. Started three years ago by an
aspiring writer in Oakland, NaNoWriMo launches its third fiction
writing marathon November 1st. Participants must write 50,000
words by midnight November 30 to cross the finish line. Novels
must be fiction and must be completely new works. It doesn't
have to be good, just long. Quantity over quality. The idea
is to break through your own self-editing and self-censorship
and to just get words, ideas, scenes, and stories on to paper
(or disk). It's even been written up in the
I embark on this Umberto Eco-challenge, this Shakespearean
Survivor, this Fifty-Thousand Word Pyramid. Do I have any idea
about what I'm going to write about? Not a clue. I have a few
days to do some planning. Heh.
On top of NaNoWriMo, my sister and I have decided to do a
documentary about the experience. She had just taken a few video
editing classes and had mentioned that she wanted to do a project.
I have always wanted to do my own little slice of reality
documentary. I thought this was the perfect opportunity. The
documentary will follow me, my friend Dustin, and my friend Jennifer
on our month-long quest for the 50,000 word holy grail. Most of
it will be confessional-style, meaning we each will keep a video
journal of our progress. The rest will be cut with interviews,
footage from NaNoWriMo gatherings, and footage of city living.
I am really excited by the prospect of making a documentary.
Bunim-Murray look out! (Oh, any of you music writing types out
there want to feature your new hit as part of the documentary,
send me an email. I'm really really serious. I was hoping to
(if you're reading this), if you'd like to donate the rights to
a few of your songs.)
What else am I doing?
My friend Dustin
and I started a little exercise a few months ago. I told him how back
in the day I used to storyboard on BBSes (Bulletin Board Systems),
where a number of people all contributed to an on-going story. So
we decided to try it. I wanted something to write, to get my energy
flowing, to just flex those fiction muscles. He wanted something
to write, to practice doing more fiction, and to explore the idea.
Four months later, we're nearly 150 pages into a novel tentatively
titled i4i (yes, that's i4i). We each write a
section, or a post, and then switch off. It was slow going at
first. Then we decided to enact a little time-keeping system, like
the clocks used for chess matches. We have 48 hours to complete
our next post after the other has submitted it. It's been working.
We've been writing like crazy men. The story is a near-future,
cyberpunk, psychic fantasy, murder mystery -- kind of like Chris
Carter meets Anne Rice meets
(if you don't know who he is, you had a bleak childhood... come on,
we're talking the author of Escape to Witch Mountain, one
of my most favorite stories). It's been an amazing ride. It
continues to be an amazing story. Both our word counts combined,
we've written over 50,000 words. It gives us hope. The handful
of people that have glanced over it have given us very good
reviews. It's not the best near future, cyberpunk, psychic
fantasy, murder mystery writing ever but it is very entertaining.
The goal is to finish by the end of the year, do a little fixing
up and editing, and then web publishing. i4i the webnovel
coming soon. I'm talking to people I know now who are artists
who would like to showcase their work as part of the website
(and the call goes out again to all of you drawy types to contact
me -- look at the following for possible examples of style and
(I don't think there's a relation), or try this favorite
[ 1 0 . 2 6 . 0 1 cont. ]
Of course, somewhere in there, I'm trying to find time to finish
my second book of poetry and revise Tellings and write the Tellings
worldbook. Double heh.
As a result of signing myself up for NaNoWriMo, I have encountered
a number of personalities across the US and around the world, who
also have (foolishly?) cast in their gauntlets for the contest.
Out of this teeming community (since there are now over 2000 people
signed up as opposed to the 140 or so from last year), I have
chatted with a handful online. Many are part of this strange,
intriguing, addictive secret society of websites and online
journals called blogs, short for web logs. Technically, my online
journal site is a blog though the format is slightly different.
The majority of blogs have certain conventions, but the
underlying purpose, theme, or goal is to share your thoughts with
other bloggers and the world. What are you doing today? What
are you reading? What's in your CD player? What has got your
goat? What has set you free? All of it in a ordered cacophony
of text, picture, hyperlink, flash, and sound.
Want an example? How about Wil Wheaton's blog -- yes, yes, the
infamous Wesley Crusher --
It's actually quite funny and is laced with all sorts of tidbits
about being a child star, about Star Trek: The Next Generation,
and all sorts of things geeky. It scares me, actually, but in a
It seems anyone can blog. But to blog well is an entirely
different matter. Please, read my blog or as I like to call it,
my webography, often --
(okay, okay, enough shameless self-promotion).
THE OVALTINE OF THE MASSES (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)
It's been a long, long while since I've dedicated a number of
my nights to watching television. This new season I have found
a number of favorites and it feels good. What better way to
combat news-induced-depression than to partake in a feast of
Of course, there's always room for
the reruns on FX are not to shabby either -- I forgot how cute
and FUNNY the show was). I'm really glad that they moved to
of vanishing into syndication. Though, I hope whoever let
Buffy go from
WB got a severe
caning -- I just don't understand it. The season has been
entertaining so far. I have a few gripes, but then I always
do. I'm pretty much over this whole resurrecting Buffy thing
and I know it's going to spell doom and gloom for Willow's
character later on (the buzz being that she'll be the new
villain like when Angel turned into Angelus after shagging
Buffy); it's going to cause me stress. Fortunately, this
past episode saw a return to more light-hearted Buffy antics.
The three Geeks (yes they deserve the capital G) crack me up --
now who do they remind me of? and who would you be? talk
amongst yourselves. Poor Anya will be jilted at the altar
and turn back into a vengeance demon. Tara will probably die,
disappear into a hell dimension, or turn into a vengeance
demon after Willow wigs out. Buffy and Spike -- yuck. Giles
can't leave (even though he's got his own spinoff on the BBC);
there will be no adults left in the show. Ahh, how the
Buffyverse crumbles. I am totally psyched for November 6th --
Buffy the Musical -- the teasers look way, way, way funny.
[ i n d e x E D ]
© 2001 Edmond Y. Chang. All original material. All rights reserved.
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