Not going to make it

As of this writing my total word count for “Year of the Red Whale” is within the 30K range. This includes the initial write-up pre-NaNoWriMo. I still have two hours to go, but I don’t want to blaze through it so recklessly.

A lot of things happened this month. And I failed to catch up, and that’s no excuse. I failed at NaNoWriMo, but I still managed to write a large amount of words into the story. So, I can’t feel too bad about it.

I’m just now going to polish the things I’ve written at this point and then proceed in crafting the rest of the story.

Peace out. Still listening to the entire Paramore soundtrack in an endless loop.

Uuuuugggghhh…

rocketannoyed

Rocket Racoon from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Procrastination, is a dear, ugly friend of mine.

In the latter half of 2011 while everyone was applying the final touches to their theses, my partner and I were just getting started. We had everything we needed: journals, interviews, the so-so stuff, but we were just about to start writing it.

I don’t know what the hell had happened. I distinctly remember working on it but the end result wasn’t good. So, we had exactly 32 hours to finish it. We did. We nailed it. Over 300-pointless pages, out of a 50-page maximum requirement. Our thesis professor was pissed. I was pissed, I wasn’t happy with how we did it, I felt our output was sewage. Students doing research on similar topics all over the country will be reading this. It’s an embarrassment. The dean loved it. Hell, I’ll take what I can get. In spite in how ugly it was, we still managed to blaze through the oral defense, leaving no loopholes, two of the three panelists were satisfied, the third needed a wee bit more convincing. Bottom line: We killed it, somehow, with utmost luck, and a lot of prayers, and sacrificial hamsters.

Oh, there are other scenarios where procrastination is barking at my heels. My NaNoWriMo entry, for one. As of this writing, November 18, 2016, I have on record in my NaNoWriMo profile, 3,492 words. Lovely. That means I have about 11-12 days to reach that 50,000-mark. I also realize that my book, “Year of the Red Whale” doesn’t need to be a 100-120,000-word monster. Based from where I am now, this book needs no more than about 50,000 words. I don’t think I can have that. This will mean adding more scenes into the story, adding characters, and tossing in side stories to fill in the gap. I’m aiming for 80,000, at the very least, without looking like a stretch. It’s even more challenging to meet that requirement when I have only one point-of-view character.

I think the best part of procrastination is having that sense of urgency that you need you finish something before time’s up. It’s like being in a MacGyver situation where you have 10-seconds to live and start getting creative to get out of that butt hole you’ve dug yourself in with a few mental bumps and bruises. It’s actually fun, sometimes, if not outright frustrating.

So, there we have it. My fond update of this month’s contest. All things considered, hopefully these next few days will help me get to the road to 50,000.

Day of the Dead

I should be writing my NaNo entry. Instead, I’m jotting some random stuff in this blog that no one reads, because all of its contents are crap. I’ve also just spent the last two hours playing “Starbound.” Yes, today was a productive day.

Anyhow:

I never thought visiting the cemetery could have been fun.

It is a longstanding tradition in this country that every first of November that people visit their loved ones, buried six-feet-below. So, my grandparents always took me out and brought me to the cemetery, armed with rosaries and candles. Many cemeteries are found in tight spots and you can imagine the chaos when hundreds of cars try to get in and out through the gate, and into two-three-lane road, with thousands more of people blocking pathways like bad cholesterol.

When we did got into the cemetery. We drove downhill, curving along the road, finding an ancient and authentic World World II cannon on display, past family mausoleums, and more road ahead. I can’t tell how much farther exactly. But I can tell you finding a parking spot is a bitch. After which, we walk begin to trek on foot, between a mausoleum and tombs stacked on top of each other, going through high grass with the risk of getting bitten by a snake and full of itchy critters swinging about, only after all that, we would find the family’s tombs. A cemented platform, stacked on top of each other much like majority of the graves around, because land is expensive, and putting another family member on top of other costs no extra charges to the land we already own.

My great-great grandmother was buried there, with her son-in-law, including a child less than a year-old, on the side. The cemetery has long become a squatter area, where informal settlers had converted most of the mausoleum rooftops into makeshift houses. While my grandmother fixed candles and readied prayer books, my grandfather would call one of the squatters, one we already know, to cut the overgrowth and the vines that had crept up and around the tombs. We’d pray and then go home, braving the chaos all over again. These days my grandfather has taken the habit to break tradition and visit a week or two before or after November 1st. There were less people visiting then. He’d always tell me, as we drove home, every year, that in his time, when only his grandmother was buried there, the land around the tomb was an expanse of bright green grass. I believe there were eight of them siblings, and they camped and had picnics beside the tomb.

Earlier today I experienced that. My wife and I traveled to her province where we met with her family and we visited the grave of her recently passed away grandmother. Each grave was shaded with a high or low tents, some were massive, and some were small, bursting in colors. My wife’s family had a picnic, so did everyone else visiting the cemetery. They brought juice tanks, chicken, and whatnot. It was, a festival of sorts. The day wore on, more people came in, relatives meeting after a year, and catching up. Children were running around, playing some outdoor games I’ve had thought faded away.

Besides the scorching sun and the bugs. It was a fine day and it was fun, simply to reconnect with relatives, and rejoice in the comfort of each other, missing loved ones as a family.

That’s all I really got to say. I’ll work on my NaNoWriMo entry now.