Archive for December, 2006

We have liftoff

Posted by jonesey on Sunday, 17 December 2006, 11:32

Three thousand words by 11:30 AM. I’ll take it. This feels good.
Time to go print everything out for the plane and start packing for my trip.

This is about how my brain feels right now:

how i feel

3K and it’s not even 1 PM

Posted by jonesey on Saturday, 16 December 2006, 12:43

I had 1,000 words done before 9:30 AM, then I stalled at a hard section, fiddling with it for a while. Something got me started again (probably my 11:30 hit of dark chocolate), and I cranked out the rest of a 3,000-word section before 1 PM.

This is going to work.

Here’s our house with as much snow as we’ll probably get this year. This picture was taken five days after Thanksgiving.


Postscript at 8 PM: I finished the day with 5,000 words under my belt. That’s 17 pages. Only 3,000 to go tomorrow.

Three thousand more done

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 15 December 2006, 21:44

Is this getting old for you? I’m still having fun. I’ve got 8,000 more words to go, about 27 pages. I got 3,000 done today, despite a haircut, a dentist appointment, showing the house, checking in on the dry rot work, taking a half-hour nap, and dining with Liz and Larry.

For those of you who are tired of not seeing any fun pictures, here’s one of Julie with Aunt Sheila’s casserole cozy:

Julie and a cozy

Good news, bad news

Posted by jonesey on Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 20:29

The good news is that I’m right on schedule. I finished a 5,000-word section tonight, shrinking it to just under 3,000 words. My word counter says I have 11,000 words to go over the next four days, which means I’m about two-thirds done.

The bad news is that we have a mysterious, small leak dripping water from the porch ceiling just above the front door of our house, and the contractor working on the house we’re trying to sell reports that there is standing water under that house. It looks like someone will be buying a sump pump tomorrow, somewhat ahead of schedule. And I don’t think the porch leak will go away by itself either.

Another day, another thousand words

Posted by jonesey on Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 7:21

I’m still on schedule, with a thousand words this morning and a thousand last night. I think I need to get ahead a little, though. Ten thousand in three days is looking more and more daunting as Friday approaches.

Rewriting is hard

Posted by jonesey on Sunday, 10 December 2006, 21:42

Mom called to check in on me, since I’m all by myself for a few days. We commiserated about how hard it is to take well-written source material and fashion it into decent prose without plagiarising. So far, so good, but it’s difficult.

I got my weekend writing goal accomplished. I rewrote a 6,000-word section that needed significant work. Seventeen thousand down, fifteen thousand to go, according to the word counter. I’ve got a 5,000-word section to work on before work every day this week, which will leave a brutal 10,000 words for next weekend. If I can do it, I’ll have something pretty nice to line-edit during ten hours of flights to New York on Monday. It beats watching The Da Vinci Code.

If these numbers bore you, you’ll want to skip reading the weblog for the next week. It’s all I’ll be able to talk about, and I’m just kicking around this empty house with nobody else to talk to.

Freude, schöner Götterfunken

Posted by jonesey on Sunday, 10 December 2006, 0:05

A joyful end to a long day.

Up at four to take Julie and Sylvan to the airport. Everyone else had the same idea; lines were long. We saw Mike, Brooke, and Kylie (going to Hawaii) as well as Annie, Damien, and Oscar (going to Denver). Julie stood in the “security” line while I waited in the long line to hand her suitcase over to the friendly suitcase inspectors. It looks like their flights all went fine, except for the fussy fifteen-month old boy in 20H.

Later in the morning, I went to a memorial service for a retired faculty member at my school. It was moving. His children and one of his grandsons stood up and talked about him, followed by a number of his former students. They said that he knew the difference between happiness and contentment (hint: contentment involves sitting and watching television). They said that the highest compliment he could pay to a person or an object was “vigorous.” Vigorous meant that something, or someone, was full of energy, and still a little rough-hewn.

If people say a quarter of the good things about me when I die that they said about Philip, I will have lived a life wonderful beyond measure.

In the afternoon, I took a nap. Tephra helped. She’s helpful that way. I woke up and worked on an easy part of my thesis for a few hours. I revised about 2,500 words today. So far, so good.

I rewarded myself with a night at the opera. Well, at the symphony. They didn’t play Take Me Out To The Ballgame, but they did start with two short pieces. The first was a choral work by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Julie’s favorite composer, based on text from The Merchant of Venice (Act V, scene 1). The second was a rousing Bruckner choral piece based on Psalm 150, a psalm of praise, music, and loud noises.

After the intermission, the choir had decided to stay, so the orchestra played some Beethoven. Thirty minutes of crashing, zooming, and teasing followed, until finally the cellos and basses relented and warmed up the Ode To Joy theme. A whole lot of hollering followed, most of it apparently in German. The tenor had the most fun.

I had a cheap seat, which ended up being in the second row. I got to watch the conductor’s remarkable variety of facial expressions, but I didn’t get to see the timpani, which is the best part of the Ninth. Sounded good, though.

Seid umschlungen, Millionen.

All But Thesis

Posted by jonesey on Saturday, 9 December 2006, 9:10

I took my last exam in my last class on Wednesday. Now all I have to do to finish my master’s degree is finish my thesis. My plan is to hand in a good draft to my advisors on January 8, then have it completed and turned in to the university by the end of winter term, March 16.

It looks like it’s going to be about 30,000 words (100 pages, yow!), of which about 10,000 are in good shape. The rest needs to be turned from a structured collection of notes and excerpts into readable prose that makes sense.

Julie and Sylvan left for New York this morning; I leave in nine days. That means I have five excuse-free weekend days and four workdays to rewrite about 20,000 words. Hmm, 3,000 words of rewriting each weekend day, and 1,000 words each workday. That should be possible.