Wednesday, November 29, 2006

day 16

finally got the chance to write some today. word count 9114. Here is the last paragraph of the day:

At the all night diner, she ordered French toast, I suspect as an excuse to ingest as much syrup as possible. I had two or three grilled cheese sandwiches and a mountain of fries. All that jumping and shouting had taken a lot out of me. We ate and we looked at one another across the booth and we talked. We talked about books we’d read, bands we’d heard. We talked about our parents and their faults and things they had said and done and the things that went unsaid and the mystery of their lives before we came along. We talked about love and disappointment first crushes and long arguments we’d had late at night that led to break ups some of which led to off again on again relationships which took years to finally end when someone finally realized it was a bad idea and then had the nerve to tell the other person. We talked about winter and snow, about band aids, Kleenex, rollerblades. She told me German words that don’t translate into English. I told her about sledding as a child and hitting a tree, breaking my arm in two places. She told me about her childhood imaginary friend Phillis and how she swears she can almost hear Phillis whispering sometimes and imagines one day if she turns around fast enough she might see Phillis again. I told her about how I lost my job and how it felt to tip over my boss’s desk.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Didn't get a lot of noveling done this weekend. K got sick and I had to take care of her. when I did get anything done, it was on the play I'm writing. But this morning I went back in a rewrote and added to scenes that went by too fast. word count is 8537. here is a paragraph.

And when Sad Fingers began to play I climbed the six inches that is the stage, took the mic out of the stand and began to sing.

You told me how to get there
The road was winding west
I slipped out of the party
You slipped out of your vest
My hands were cold and shaking
Your eyes behind your hair
You bit my lip, I lost my grip and we tumbled through the air

Tumbled through the air

Caught me unawares

Tumbled down the stair

Eyes behind your hair

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


word count 8245. I started out hating everything i was writing but then I got into it and now i feel good again about this whole writing a novel thing.

At home I was feeling good. I’d been wanting to quit that job almost since I started and now all the reasons to stay evaporated. I lied down on my bed and thought why not do whatever I want for the rest of my life? And I couldn’t think of a single reason why not.

When I awoke, it was the nighttime. I listened to the twelve or so messages Jake had left me in the last three days and then I went downstairs to the bathroom and smiled at myself in the mirror. Why did my life suddenly seem full of possibilities? I located my roommate’s clippers and I shaved my head. Then I took a shower and went to go see Sad Fingers play at Doughertys.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

day 13

some words today. not tons but some. word count 7605.

first paragraph of the day:

Outside, I had the sudden feeling of excitement. I realized that I couldn’t wait to stop sneezing. Why hadn’t I done this years ago? I opened the bottle and looked inside. The pills seemed to vibrate. I picked one up. It was silver on the inside surrounded by a clear green coating. Like a pill within a pill. Like Mercury in Gatorade. It looked too complicated for a placebo. I took my first pill right then without water so it would start working right away. Then I went home and went to sleep.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Day 12

Ok, so the day number is only the 12th day of writing. Not in any way the 12th day in a row of writing. BEcaus eI have other things to do. word count 6997.

first paragraph of the day:

I was on my way to the address Phil had given me over the phone in a soft-spoken stumbling way. The problem was I was in a residential part of Brooklyn. It couldn’t be right. I couldn’t see a pharmacy anywhere. I stood in front of the house that bore the address Phil had given me. Was he a pharmacist out of his house? It had taken me an hour by train and another twenty minutes of walking so I figured I better ring the bell. But I almost didn’t. I almost turned and walked the twenty minutes back to the train. I almost threw the address away, almost purged the whole conversation from my mind along with the embarrassing fact that I had fallen for some sort of bait and switch involving a supposed pharmacist and a long train ride. I would just have gone home and never spoken of it again. My hair would grow and I would forget. And I would probably never again see the disheveled hipster who had given me the number or if I did, I would pretend not to know who he was and part of me wouldn’t know.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Day 11

At the rate I'm going, and the lenght I estimate this novel to be, it will probably take me between 4 and 6 months to write this thing and I'm only halfway through the first month and I'm tired.

The good news is, however, that I think I just came to the end of a chapter which seems good.

word count is at 6526.

first paragraph-like thing of the day:

On the sidewalk, someone grabbed my arm. He was in a black trenchcoat. It was dark so I couldn’t see his face well. His voice sounded like gears. “I hear you got allergies.”

I nodded.

“Call this number.” He handed me a slip of paper.

“This is an allergist?”

“No, a pharmacist. Call him. He’ll hook you up.”

I looked at the slip of paper. It said Phil and there was a phone number with a 212 area code. I looked up to thank the man, but turned his back to me and walked into the club.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

day 10

So I worked on a play yesterday instead of this and then i had to work late last night for an event and didn't get in until midnight and even thought I don't have to get to work on time, my word count is low today. total is 6122.

first paragraph of the day:

And so on. At this point I was feeling pretty bad about my appearance and about myself in general and all dreams of becoming a hair stylist went out the window. I went into the bathroom and splashed water on my face. I looked in the cracked mirror. Yeah, I had to admit, the hair was uneven, too short, at odd angles. I put water in my hair but that didn’t seem to help. It made it worse. Maybe I could go outside and buy one of those I heart NY hats or a trucker hat at one of those ridiculous headshops on St. Marks.

Monday, November 13, 2006

day 9

The writing is slowing down some. I didn't write on the novel yesterday but i did get some other stuff done that needed doing.

At the rate i'm going, based on how big (or small) a novel i think this is, it willl take me between 3 and 5 months to finish this thing. And since I've only been workin on it since Nov 1 and I'm sure some plays will begin to intrude soon, i have a long way to go. I may be a tenth of the way through at this point. Or an eleventh. or a twelfh.

word count 5835

Here is the first paragraph of the day:

Which is how Jake always gets me to go out. He always did that. He had a way of getting me to do whatever he wanted. I tried to resist, tried to be my own person, but he would always lure me into his world. And he knew if he said he’d introduce me, I’d go. Would he actually introduce me? He was always too busy at these things to pay much attention to me. But I was a born sucker. I thought about that for a while, unhappily. I went to the refrigerator to get another beer. I took it to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I looked bad. I needed to shave, but if I shaved completely I would look young. I needed that I-shaved-three-days-ago look. But I didn’t have three days. My hair was also getting long in a bad way. I needed to get a haircut, but where was I going to get the money for that? I took the scissors from the cabinet. Maybe I could just trim it a little. I took a drink from the beer can.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Day 8

I didn't write yesterday. i was toooo tired. For a while I've been trying to figure out how to make a show out of some of the 30 or so short plays i've written. i think I finally figured out the right combination and the order they should go in. So I polished that up today and then I went to wrok on the novel. Word count 5394. Here is a paragraph.

If you need anything in this city, an apartment, a job, a date, the best thing to do is talk to everyone you know, or in my case, complain to everyone you happen to see until someone offers a solution or gives you a phone number to call. But I was in no mood to call people up and in no mood to go out and complain about how I couldn’t afford health insurance. No one could. I would get no sympathy. And if they could afford health insurance, it’s not like there was a secret someone could impart. You pay the company and then when you go to the doctor, it doesn’t cost as much. I guess I just had to figure out how to start paying for health insurance. That or risk losing my job. But I hated that job anyway. Maybe I should just look for employment elsewhere, not that that is any easier than finding an apartment for example. It was a headache and I hate headaches. If my school loans weren’t so high none of this would be a problem.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Day 7

word count 4829

Last night I was at the Dramatist Guild event for playwrights currently in programs at Marsha norman's house. I'm a little hungover and a lot tired. So the word count sucked today. so tired. a little hungover. here is a paragraph. you may notice a theme.

You might judge me because I don’t have health insurance even though I’ve been working at the same place for three years but I just can’t afford it. Not if I want to pay rent and eat and drink alcohol on a semi regular basis. And perhaps it’s because my job sucks that I get stressed out and need to have a few drinks and then I need the job to pay for the drinks and then I go to work hungover which makes the job worse and makes me hate it more and then I have to go get a couple of drinks that night to forget about how bad the job was that day. So the job is really the reason I can’t afford health insurance. That and the high cost of living in New York.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I just discovered by a simple google search that there is another site called the naked novelist. A woman in london is writing her first novel on webcam live naked.

This means I have to step it up.

But I don't strip for free. nor do I have a webcam.

Can I get a patron please?

day 6

Here is the beginning of what I wrote today. word count is 4373

“You’ve been here a couple years now”

“Three years.”

Albert had the talent of talking to you without seeming to hear you. He didn't acknowledge my contribution nor did he pause. “How’s everything going? Having any problems at all you want to talk about?”

I looked at his gigantic hands spread out over his desk. “No. Thanks. Everything’s going fine. How are you?”

“Because Tosh tells me he asked you for an order yesterday and is still waiting for it.”

The order! I knew I had forgotten something. “Honestly, sir, I completely forgot about that. The phone rang and I was just about to get it for him but there was a customer who needed my attention and then when I got off the phone, Tosh was gone and I realize I should have made a note so I would have remembered to give it to him but it slipped my mind completely. It’ll never happen again.”

“You know Tosh is an important member of our team.”

“I know that.”

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Day 5

I didn't write yesterday. word count total is 3502.

here is first paragraph

Her dancing became more frantic in a way that killed me. Maybe she was dating Anthony or Marjory who liked to say she was “flexible.” Or worse, maybe she was dating Jake. I could just ask her, I thought. When the song was over I could just go over and be like hey, I’ve never seen you at the other concerts or do I know you? “Do I know you?” might work. Or I could say something like “Nice dance moves.” That’s weak. “You look good on the dance floor.” “How do you know this song?” “I like what you were doing with your feet during Anthony’s xylophone solo.” Or just ask her if I can buy her a drink. I should just, yeah. That’s the best, just asking to buy her a drink. “May I buy you a drink,” I would say. Or maybe that’s too formal. “Can I buy you a drink?” Or, “I’d like to buy you a drink.” “ I can’t help but notice you’re not drinking. My grandfather was an alcoholic.” No. No. Definitely not. “Do you drink and if so can I buy you one? A drink that is?” Would she even be able to hear me over the song? She was enjoying the music so much. And so was I. I didn’t want to make it seem like I wasn’t enjoying it by disrupting it. But maybe she’s here alone and would love to talk to someone though. I could ask her if she wants to meet the band afterwards and then if she was dating one of them that would be the time for her to say it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

day four

I worked on the play yesterday instead of this. and i watched a lot of Tv. But i got in some time today. word count totals 2776. Here is the first paragraph of the day.

And so my cluttered cubicle was stacked with paper being held down by empty Kleenex boxes. My filing system was not so much a system as a non-system. So when one of my bosses came to get a hard copy of an order, it was not easy to find. I should mention now that I have a lot of bosses. Pretty much everyone there is my boss, even though I was there three years. They’ve all been there longer. I think staying too long away from the light causes withdrawal. I know Tosh was blinking a bit too heavily when he asked me for that hard copy.

Friday, November 03, 2006

day 3

Ach, so I didn't get up til 6 today. but I managed to get some words in. not sure how many but my 3 day total hovers just under 2000. (1999 to be precise but maybe I'll go add a word now.)

Here's a paragraph. as always, it's a first draft.

You could now just as easily make the case that I’ve been an adult for a while and that I could have gone to the allergist on my own and you’d be right except that it’s not hard to find an excuse to not do something, especially when that something is going to the doctor, especially when you’re afraid of doctors. I wish there was a specific story to explain why I avoid doctors but it’s more of a feeling. The antiseptic room, the silver instruments, tongue depressers in jars. I’m a person who doesn’t like to be prodded, poked or stabbed. Oh, there is that. I sometimes faint when the nurse tries to take my blood. Or vomit. Sometimes I don’t faint and I vomit instead. Either way It’s unpleasant for me and the nurse. Last time I vomited all over the nurse, and let me tell you I enjoyed it a lot more than fainting but it’s not something I’m looking forward to doing again anytime soon. Which is not to say that hives feel much better, but I guess it’s easier to do nothing than subject yourself to weekly allergist appointments involving scratching and prodding and probably blood taking which would only make my life better—of course it would do that.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Day two

here is the first paragraph of the day. word count 839 new words today.

My job, though. I can’t tell you what my life was without mentioning my job. In Queens in a neighborhood full of large warehouses made of faded brick, all the buildings seem to lean one way, and then you turn the corner and they lean the other way. You approach a particularly faded particularly leaning building and step inside. Imagine a fluorescently lit room segmented into of rows and rows of small white cubicles. Now, however many fluorescent bulbs you first imagined, double that. Then double it again. Yeah, yeah, that’s about right. It is always very bright and always very depressing. The company is called Fluorescence™. The light scheme is part of the concept which is misleadingly much more interesting than the function of the company which is to sell wholesale fluorescent bulbs to distributors. Fluorescence™ is one stop in a series of middle men and perhaps they shine the light a little brighter in all the offices and the warehouse so that the company is not completely forgotten. Sort of like when the middle child is the loudest and has to put on the funny glasses and the wig just to not be ignored. Fluorescence is like the middle child who won’t stop with the glasses and the wig but goes for the clown nose and white makeup and the big clown shoes. And yet it’s still not funny. Working in a place that’s constantly trying too hard is not the best job to get right out of college, nor is it the best place to stay working three years out. Especially when you’re not really sure what you’re doing. The jobs are predominately filled by young overstressed people unsure of what they are doing with their lives. In addition, the company is populated with a certain kind of cheery desperate person constantly trying to prove herself so she can someday move up to one of the few darkened offices away from the glare and near a window where sunlight might sometimes reach

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

day 1

first paragraph on teh first day. 769 words total. not that I'm trying to break a word record. I'm trying to write a story. and I have officially begun.

I want to stress, first of all, that I am ordinary. Perhaps you will have trouble with this fact but I swear to you it is a fact. At first glance this may run contrary to everything that has happened up to this point. At first glance this may make your brain bleed when you think about it, but let me be clear from the start, I am an ordinary man. I have no special talents. In high school I learned to play the bassoon, badly. I never excelled at anything and was never singled out for anything at any time, except perhaps when the occasional ordinary girl would take an interest for a short period of time. And then, after high school, when I left home, as ordinary as ever, to attend an unremarkable college, there was no sweetheart who was sad to see me leave and no real friends, not even those half friends who say “God, Ryan, I’m gonna miss you,” the night before you leave while you sit beside them in their neon Datsun as they run a red light, narrowly missing a collision and you think to yourself what a fuckup this half friend is and you spend the night sharing a bottle of Jack smuggled from his father’s basement and when you get to school you never hear from him again even though you call once or twice. No, I never even had that friend. I spent the night before moving to college watching sitcoms with my parents until my father fell asleep and my mother got tired of disapproving of the television programming and went to bed herself. My parents were likely mildly disrupted by my absence but they went about their schedules and I am sure my absence made no more impact on their lives than my presence had.