Up to about 3,500ish words now. I’m far behind, but I don’t care. I’m writing. I’m fucking writing and I want to keep writing. As it is, I’m finding out I only have enough energy to do about 500-800 words on a work night, and that I can’t write for beans when the sun is up, for whatever reason, rather irritatting since most of my leisure time is in the mornings, and I simply am not the type to pull all nighters and keep sane. I figure I need to be physically spent in order to really write well. Light and a brand new day just makes me too energetic and unfocused to write well. These discoveries are worthwhile to me.

Also, I’d like to thank all those who encouraged me when I was feeling a bit alone. It really meant a lot. (Yes, a rather gooshy notion for someone who regularly reads Roissy’s comment list, but what I can I say. I really don’t give a shit about appearing vulnerable online. Getting into schoolyard and beachside brawls in my younger years really put a lot of perspective into me about the chest-beating of anonymous handles on the web.) Enough digression. Thank you all. I may not finish this year, but already the trip has been worth it. I’m not going to stop after the month ends. I’m going to keep plodding along till this thing is done, and then when it’s done, I start the next one, and so on.

Did I even mention what I’m writing about? I’m writing about an alternate history Vinland. (Well it’s a stage, at least.) Now to sleep. It’s an 11 hour day tomorrow. Gotta love Japan’s unpaid overtime, yes?

Hey, Patrick! If you’re reading this, what’s your word count so far?

I’m going slow. Much too slowly. Like I’m probably only going to hit 2,000 words by tonight. I’m realizing now some of my greatest problems. That I get so mucked up in editing and tweaking that I get blocked up before I get to putting new stuff onto the page. Gotta push through it… I can go back after it’s done. Need more endurance too. It’s freaking exhausting.

I need more support too. None of the regulars on my IM list are doing NaNoWriMo, so it’s pretty hard to talk about mutual issues in writing.

I”m taking part in the National Novel Writing Month. I don’t know if I’ll make it, but God knows I’m gonna give it a shot. Accordingly, blog posts will be even sparcer than usual.

Funny thing is, I changed the topic of the novel at the last minute. From a modern rather post-modern story of Japan to a story about an alternative history Vinland. I guess I’m a hack at heart in a lot of ways. Go figure. In anycase, I debating posting parts here. I’d like to publish it someday, so posting publically might be difficult. Who knows. I’ve decided to go in competition with some other folks I know participating.

My goal is to actually hit 50,000 words. It’ll be difficult, but I think I can make it. Haven’t started yet, but the weekend is just beginning. Those of you reading who hate modern lit might take a pass at it. I’m just too influenced by authors I love to make a really contiguous contempo novel. Sorry. My mind just doesn’t work that way. I’ll be keeping ya’ll posted about my progress. Nothing tonight. Just too drunk. But tomorrow, instead of Go or Civ IV, I’ll write. I swear. Odin’s Blood!

My birthday party was spent at a snack bar owned by a client. No, not like in America. A snack bar is kind of like an upscale hostess bar sans the seediness and with very expensive booze. Thankfully it don’t take much to get me into drunken salariman mode. Sang some karaoke, had my ciggies lit by the hostess, talked an odd mixture of Japanese and English with some Spanish (long story there). Watched a large group of piss drunk salarimen sing an odd mixture of nationalistic songs from the WWII era and old anime themes. The juxtaposition of a naval sea shanty about working hard for the Empire followed by the Gatchaman theme was particularly striking. Maybe it was revenge for when I sang a duet with the owner of “My Heart Will Go On”.

Yeah, I don’t give a shit. It was a blast. I’d go more often, but dayum, it’s like 10 bucks for a beer or Mizuwari. I’m the big 3-0 now. It gives one a moment for reflection. I’ve been thinking of how I’m not meeting some of the goals I came here to meet. I’m still nowhere near level-1 certifiable in Japanese, and I think even level-2 is out of reach if I were to take the test right now. My speaking skills are still too damn weak. Goodness knows my cognitive abilities in acquisition are going to start declining pretty soon. I haven’t noticed much slumping yet, but then I was late to mature intellectually. In any case I’m going to have to focus my mental energies more. I’ve been dissipated for too long. I mean seriously, taking up Speed-Cubing at my age, innate spatial inability and personality? It seems like it would just mean a lot of smashed Rubik’s Cubes. Oh well, I still have crosswords for when I want to play one-person games.

So on that note, it hit me. November is NaNoWriMo. Since I can’t get a novel finished for the life of me (hell, I can’t even start the bulk of ’em), but I can finish articles and shit like my thesis so long as there’s a deadline hovering over my head, I figure a good artificial deadline is what I need to get me going and prove to myself I can finish one. If I can do one, then I can do others. Then another life goal will be out of the way (odd that some of the life goals I did before even thinking about life goals, namely writing and acting in a short film). I’m pretty convinced I’m going to give it a shot.

Also as a final note, today I sat down to read the first couple chapters of Shusaku Endo’s “Silence”. I ended up finishing the book almost four hours later. Probably the most Catholic novel I’ve ever read, up there with “A Canticle For Liebowitz”, though perhaps much more inwardly turned into the life of the believer. There are books that stir the admitted God-shaped hole in this reluctant atheist’s life and looking at the character of Kichijiro, with his fervent faith, yet weak character, I am as struck as he by those who willingly and calmly die for what they believe in, wishing for myself that strength and inner light. In less “enlightened” times, perhaps I would have made that excellent Jesuit that the Fathers pronounced me as a boy. What I’ve got now and seeing those around me… well it’s cold comfort indeed.