Nano update on Day Four

I have nearly 15,000 words.  I am writing about a 40-day, 40-night journey.  I am actually writing about 41 days.  I am on day 5 of the journey, but so far I haven’t quite finished that day.   So I’m a little behind with the story, unless you count the fact that a few of the days I’m going to skim over, as my records are too sparse to get into too much detail.  However, I’m way ahead on word count.  I’m more than a quarter of the way to the 50,000-word goal, which I need to reach by November 30.  So I say simply, “Write on!”

Extra thanks to Nita Sweeney for getting me and a bunch of other Goddard people started on this.  Nita has done Nano twice before!  Amazing!

The book is panning out in an interesting way.  Already, there are things I tell myself I wish I’d done differently.  Writing fast is interesting.  This is turning out to be an incredible learning experience, and I’m so happy that I’m doing it.  More on this later.

I’m also burning out.  And not eating.  But I’m not going to worry about that yet.  Everything will fall into place in time.  Everything.  Just wait.

10,672 words and counting!

Nano update: I will not be publishing my book here at my blog, because it constitutes “publishing,” and book publishers want to publish unpublished manuscripts.  Of course, I can publish short excerpts.  I will certainly do so, in time.

I am over 1/5 into my 50,000-word goal.  This manuscript will be a lot longer than 50,000 words when I am done with it.  My guess is that in revision, I’ll be doing LOTS of trimming!

Back to writing.  At some point today, I must practice my stand-up act, in preparation for class tonight.

Knitting update

I am taking a knitting class at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education! You can find the Cambridge Center at  I learned an alternative to the “Julie” method of knitting, otherwise known as the English method, or “throwing” method of knitting.  You hold the yarn in your right hand when you knit this way.  I found that I frequently “dropped” the right needle while I knitted.  I didn’t like this, nor did I like the fact that it was extremely difficult to do this “throwing” method while using DPN’s (double-pointed needles).  When I use double-pointed needles, I use four or five at a time, and the needles got in the way when I used the “throwing” method holding the yarn in my right hand.   With the “Julie” method, I held the yarn in my left hand.  Continental knitting is similar to the “Julie” method.  You hold the yarn in your left hand.  So after the second class, I vowed that I would learn Continental knitting.  Unfortunately, our wonderful teacher, Johanna Erikson, doesn’t teach it, so I had to go home and learn it from a You-tube.  Fortunately, I found a good one:

I would recommend this You-Tube because it is nice and long and very clear.  I found that I was able to learn Continental knitting after a few viewings.

I’m not very good at it.  But I did finish Puzzle’s Pastel Patchwork Sweater using the method.  I did both her sleeves in ribbing.  Agreeably, one sleeve is a bit longer than the other, as I finished one of them too soon, but Puzzle won’t care.  I was only off by a smidge, and I think I’m the only one who will notice anyway.  I need to weave in the ends.  There are a heck of a lot of ends.

I am now making a patchwork hat to match the sweater.  The hat is for me.  What did you expect, silly?  It will go very quickly.  I will post it as soon as I’m finished with it.  I work on it when I’m taking breaks from writing the book I’m working on.  Goodnight.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) Update

I have written 8,574 words.  I have yet to decide whether to “publish” the book here.

Formatting is a consideration.  It’s a bit tricky to get documents to format properly on web pages, and it can be time consuming to get them right.

Well, I’m off to the shower.

National Novel Writing Month has begun!

Today was November 1st–still is.  I wrote 4,179 words of Summer in November, my Nano book (NaNoWriMo being the acronym for National Novel Writing Month).  And I might write more before the day is up.

I am considering “publishing” the book here as I go along, but I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll be doing this or not.  I am consulting a number of people to see if it would be a wise choice.

Let me assure you that Summer in November, as I am writing it now, is not great literature.  If you write 50,000 words in one month, you’re not going to come up with great literature.  It is a draft.  So what you see here won’t be very polished.  If I do “publish” it here, keep that in mind.

Okay, off to walk the dog, then maybe back to writing!

Further Progress on the Pastel Patchwork Dog Sweater

I am referring to the sweater I was making that I posted here:

I have added the collar and rear trim.  Next, I have to do sleeves.  Then, the tedious chore of weaving in ends.  But here is what it looks like right now:

Sweater Progress 7

Sweater Progress 8

Ain’t she cute?

Jenni Schaefer at MEDA

Jenni Schaefer came to the Multi-service Eating Disorder Association today to speak and sign books, and I attended the meeting.  She is a strong, confident speaker.  She also sang a song, the text of which is printed in her book.  (Jenni is a professional singer and songwriter and a very good one, too.)  I had already purchased and started to read Life Without Ed, and at the meeting I purchased Goodbye Ed, Hello Me. Jenni signed both for me.  “Ed” is the acronym for “eating disorder,” and in the books, Jenni suggests that “Ed” is the voice of the ED, and is like a person, a partner that you can divorce and separate from.

I cried through much of the meeting.  I couldn’t stop myself.  I cried when she sang the song.  The truth is, my motivation is very low right now.  When I hear that someone is recovered, I think, “Good for them, but this is not for me.”  I don’t think I even want recovery.  It is too distant and unattainable.   My therapist has hope for me but I have no hope, only hope that I can hold out and keep them off my back, and not gain the weight they want me to gain, and NEVER be fat again.

My therapist agreed not to talk about food and eating and my weight for the session.  This, for some reason, made me sad and hopeless.  I wondered if she had given up.  I didn’t want to tell her I’ve fallen into a hole again and am restricting, not a lot, but enough so that if she read my food journal, she’d comment and be concerned.

My therapist seems to think I’m doing okay.  I’m not.  On the way home, I walked in front of cars, and didn’t care.  It wasn’t deliberate, just lack of common sense I guess.  I wasn’t looking.  I didn’t bother.  The fact that the behavior didn’t alarm me was the scary part.

Use of text messaging in treatment of ED’s

I have never binged and purged, but this fascinates me.

Mobile Therapy: Use of Text-Messaging in the Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa
Objective: To examine a text-messaging program for self-monitoring symptoms of bulimia nervosa (BN) within the context of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Method: Thirty-one women participated in 12 weekly group CBT sessions and a 12 week follow-up. Participants submitted a text message nightly indicating the number of binge eating and purging episodes and rating their urges to binge and purge. Automatic feedback messages were tailored to their self-reported symptoms. Results: Fully 87% of participants adhered to self-monitoring and reported good acceptability. The number of binge eating and purging episodes as well as symptoms of depression (BDI), eating disorder (EDI), and night eating (NES) decreased significantly from baseline to both post-treatment and follow-up. Discussion: Given the frequent use of mobile phones and text-messaging globally, this proof-of-principle study suggests their use may enhance self-monitoring and treatment for BN leading to improved attendance, adherence, engagement in treatment, and remission from the disorder. Int J Eat Disord. 2009 Aug 28.

I am reading at the Artsmith Salon Series February 15, 2010

I will be reading at the Artsmith Salon Series in Olga, Washington February 15, 2010.  The location is at Doe Bay Resort, at the Cafe.

Doe Bay is on Orcas Island.  You take the San Juan Islands Ferry to get there, from Anacortes if you’re coming from the mainland.

Thanks to Jennifer Brennock for organizing this.

November is National Novel Writing Month

I am going to be participating in National Novel Writing Month this year

in which individual participants write 50,000-word novels over the span of the month of November.  That’s 1,667 words per day, which isn’t a lot when you consider how much polished writing I wrote for graduate school.  The novel I write for NaNoWriMo does not have to be polished.  It will not be great literature, but it will be the required 50,000 words, and I will do it.

My plan is not to write a novel at all, but a memoir about my 40-day, 40-night hitch-hiking trip across the country I did in 1979 with my dog, Hoofy.  At NaNoWriMo it is okay to be off the beaten path and write nonfiction, so long as it is started on November 1st and not earlier.

Therefore, I could not use my current memoir, After the Funeral, nor would I want to, for NaNoWriMo.  Why?  Because I don’t want ATF to be a rush job on the first try.  I simply don’t want to write it that way.  I already have over 20 pages of  ATF written, and these pages have been worked and reworked many times.

NaNoWriMo is just what I need right now to boost my self-esteem, and my self-esteem has been floundering ever since I started this recent term at the stand-up class.   I have been crying every day for over a week now.   This despair is seeping into all areas of my life.  Working out at the gym is really helping right now, though, but yesterday while I was working out, all I could think about was class, and my negativity affected my workout.  I simply did not push myself hard enough with my exercises.

I will periodically post updates on my progress with my memoir, perhaps daily.  I don’t know if I will write at the library or at home.  We will see what works best.  I think it will be nice to combine a trip to the library with a trip to the gym.  Exercise has always been a boost to my writing, and is a nice reward if I’ve had a good writing session.  According to the NaNoWriMo site, the second week is the toughest to get through.  Lucky for me, I have no Thanksgiving obligations (my family does not bother inviting me for Thanksgiving).

I wish my therapist would talk to me about real life situations, such as my stand-up class and this current project.  But she insists on wasting time talking about the ED.  My loss.

Wish me luck!