Monday, November 7, 2011

Dr. Wicked Was Here.

Let me start by saying, dear one, that my first week of NaNoWriMo has not been a raging success. It hasn't. I'd love to say otherwise, but I'd be lying. And we know how well that works out for us.

It's gone so poorly, in fact, that I frittered away an entire weekend that could have been write-a-rific. Oh, I typed in the odd word, but once I got home from work, I was useless in the writing department.

The back yard is poo-free, however, and the garbage and recycling is neatly at the curb. This is neither here nor there and especially now, it's completely irrelevant. 1,667 words per day! I'm supposed to be writing a minimum of 1,667 words per day!! I'm not hitting my goals!!! GAH!!!!

And rather obviously, I'm overdosing on exclamation points.

So. Today I decided to look into something new. Why yes, I will tell you all about it. Get your tea and settle in. Coffee, then. Oh, for the love of Mike! Soda? Juice? Milk? Vodka? I don't care, darling. Just get it and sit down.

Although at my job, consumption of alcoholic beverages while on the clock is "against the rules." I know. But what are you going to do? Once Administration gets involved, we're all screwed. And not in the fun way.

But as per usual, I digress.

Anyway. While at the ECWC just recently, I attended a useful and informative workshop offered by Susanna Fraser called "How to Write Like a Full-Time Author...When You Can't Quit Your Day Job." Or something close to that. Oh, this title--or its reasonable facsimile--screamed out to me. Screamed. In screeching and strident tones. I had to attend, just to shut it up.

Many useful things were discussed in this class, not the least of which was the introduction of Write Or Die. The lovely and talented Susanna told the group, many of whom already knew about it, the clever britches, all about this website. I was initially intrigued. Here's how it works.

One selects her consequence mode. There are four options:

  1. gentle

  2. normal

  3. kamikaze

  4. electric shock.

[NB: My computer does not have the necessary additional equipment to make "electric shock" an option. Therefore, I have not tested the ES mode. I am okay with this.]

Then one selects her preferred grace period:

  1. forgiving

  2. strict

  3. evil.
After these selections are made, a length of time is chosen and the writer enters into W.O.D. land.

A blank window appears and the writer...well, obviously, starts typing away. If she pauses, however, mulling over what she should write next, the grace period starts. The "forgiving" grace period is all of fifteen seconds. Fifteen. Strict last seven seconds. Evil lasts less than two seconds. When in gentle mode, the background changes to a soft, rosy hue that swiftly darkens to eye-searing red. Less than ten seconds after that shade has been achieved, a sweet-natured pop-up appears, noting the writer's lack of participation and encouraging her to write on.

Normal mode uses the same background but instead of Little Susie Sunshine of the pop-up world, an unpleasant sound is emitted. I cannot describe this sound as it doesn't appear on my work computer. I may try it at home. I may not. I shall get back to you on this.

Then there's kamikaze. Here's the kicker. After the grace period elapses and the background resembles a cheese-less cheese pizza, the program starts deleting the work the writer has already typed.

You read that correctly. When Susanna Fraser spoke of this option in her workshop, the horror of such a possibility was so great, I cried out.

It wasn't funny. Other attendees ought not have laughed. I'm still a bit hurt.

Obviously emotionally battered by this, I took some solace in my dear friend Debbie's comforting pat on the shoulder as I wrestled with the enormity of kamikaze mode. I took several medicinal servings of chocolate and a nice cup of hot, sweet tea and I recovered. The thought of the words that are wrenched out of me that, okay, still resemble the piles of dog leaving I clean out of the back yard, being deleted because I pause for freaking reflection, is dreadful. It is only now, a week later, that I am able to speak of it, though still not without shuddering.

It seems like a horrible idea, as horrible an idea as the Hindenburg, Waterloo or eating an entire head of fried cabbage. Or sure, it seems like a great idea to some people at first, but it doesn't take long to clue in that this is a monumentally bad idea. No matter how much one might love fried cabbage. With just a little salt and a lot of pepper...fried to a lovely, golden, caramelized hue.... So beautiful. So delicious.

So deadly the next day.

Truly, how could electric shock possibly be worse?


  1. .. you forgot to say that the cabbage is fried in butter.

    So, do I really NEED to ask you if you signed up for the abuse?

  2. I could always tell when a certain housemate had a major paper due-- the kitchen became gleamingly spotless, the living room carpet immaculately vacuumed, all webs eradicated from corners...

    I now notice that a certain someone has actually *increased* her blogging rate.

    Yes, having something big to do with a daunting deadline can make one more productive; just often not in the the area it's supposed to.

  3. Ah, she did it after I did it. Mwah. I like the Wicked Dr. so very, very much.

    Deadline aversions....uhm, I wouldn't know about those at all. Really. Looks around sheepishly at the announced page total for the week and then the actual page total so far.

    Think I'll have a cup of tea and do the dishes.

    lolol.. ouch, stop poking me, LM. Stop!