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November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo ‘11 – Nov. 1

NaNoWriMo, Personal — posted at 10:34 pm

I wrote some things! These posts may or may not actually end at sensible ending points, so be warned. Most updates will be about 1000 words each, give or take. A slow trickle, yes, but this lets you savor the bouquet! Ah, yes. Quite.

We're sailing the good ship "Untitled" for now, before anyone asks.

Each post's story content will start below this snazzy horizontal line. Enjoy!

Part 1

Boredom is interesting.

Human minds, the most powerful things in the universe, have the unique power to make the marvelous mundane. Placed on a rock hurtling through space and constantly exposed to the unimaginable beauty and horror of reality, most people spend life wondering if there’s any coffee cake left by the water cooler. This ability to wake up every morning blind and deaf to the magic of existence, though profitable for bakeries, has been lamented by great minds since Ugg woke up in the cave one morning and wondered if, you know, he was really doing anything with his life.

But boredom is the rose-tinted filter that keeps us from going all horrors-of-the-abyss every morning from the sheer majesty of being something instead of nothing. Boredom is the oil in the great, dirty, vaguely foreign-looking engine of society. Boredom drives those great minds to stave it off, and so we have mathematics, and philosophy, and poetry, and digital watches. Boredom is, in fact, the comfy blanket of nothingness that gives somethingness meaning. To a truly great mind, boredom is a tool.

This story is not about a great mind.

Watch as the camera swoops in, possibly doing one of those awesome scenes like the beginning of Contact. The blanket of nothingness sharpens into a wash of galaxies, each a tiny brilliant point in the darkness. Dramatic music is probably playing. Finer and finer the view becomes, until a familiar blue-green ball is taking up your entire field of view, and soon you’re lost in the clouds. Closer, now, ever closer, and suddenly everything is…red and shiny?

Wait, did we go too far? Hang on, let me see that thing. There’s a little switch thing on the side, you’ve just got to–


Ben watched Red Polo down the contents of the plastic cup with a faint smile. The small, neon-lit room was almost full now, and the appreciative babble of the crowd was bordering on actual cheering. I could get used to this, he thought.

“Holy shit, dude!” Kip exclaimed, clapping him on the back. “That’s, like, three perfect games in a row! That’s gotta be a Guinness record or something!”

Red Polo set down the cup with a scowl and shouldered his way through the crowd with his partner…Chad? Ben wasn’t terribly good with names. “Aw, c’mon, guys,” he yelled after them. “Had enough already?” Probably-Chad flipped him the bird over his shoulder. Ben searched for a good action-movie-esque riposte…“Yeah, well, you too, asshole!” Damn.

Kip handed him a new red plastic cup. Ben noted that it was blessedly unmarred by the beer pong carnage, and was full of…the same skunky beer! Great.

“You’re unreal, bro,” Kip said, taking a sip from his own domestically brewed accident. “Is there, like, a beer pong pro circuit? Babes surrounding you on ESPN? You could totally go Happy Gilmore on that shit, man!”

Unsure if that was an insult, Ben pretended to take a sip of his drink to mull over a response. “Nah, dude, I dunno. It’s just a thing, y’know? Like, it’s cool at parties and stuff, but it’s just…”

He trailed off. In truth, it wasn’t, like, just this thing, bro. Ben had been able to throw small objects exactly where he wanted them to go for as long as he could remember. He had never put much thought into it, since he couldn’t bring the uncanny power to bear on anything bigger than a golf ball. It was useful for landing straw wrappers into conveniently nearby cleavage, but…

Ben shrugged. “I doubt that’s a thing, man. But, uh, thanks.”

Kip slapped him on the back again, annoyingly, and the two started to shoulder their way back to the party. “I’ll be your BP partner any time, bro. You have mad skills, dude.”

“Please don’t call it that.”


Long after Red Polo had gotten a cab with Probably-Chad, White Cap Guy, and Hey You, Yeah You, Ben stumbled out of the front door of the townhouse. Being a beer pong master, he reasoned, was no excuse to miss out on perfectly good intifica…intoxif…intixo…drinking. Whatever.

A heavy form crashed into his shoulder, making him lose his balance. Most inconvenient heavy forms in Ben’s life were Kip, and this time was no exception.

“You…you wanna walk it?” Kip said, with the slur of one sliding headfirst into a painful morning and some embarrassing Facebook photos. “It’s just like…like…a little…thing.”

Kip was now leaning heavily on Ben’s shoulder, a situation that neither Ben nor the shoulder appreciated. Fortunately, he was right – home was just a mile or so away. “Yeah, let’s, uh…yeah…”

They set out. Ben was sober enough to tell sidewalk from asphalt and his own leg, but Kip was another story, and the going was slow. Not for the first time Ben wished that he hadn’t found his roommate on Craigslist.

After a quarter of a mile, Kip decided that the contents of his stomach should be returned to the bounty of the earth, and collapsed to his knees by a bush. Ben worked the kinks out of his shoulder and sat down on the grass a safe distance away, head spinning.

He was interrupted from thoughts of his grades (poor), his TA (out of his league), and his parents’ upcoming visit (oh god that’s next week did I hide everything?) by a faint voice. Strangely, it seemed to be coming from inside his own head, though Ben figured that was about a 50/50 chance given his current inebriety.


Ben looked around, but the street was empty outside of the two boys and some parked cars.

Benjamin…do you mind if I call you Ben? The voice grew stronger.

“Naw, dog, but that’s not, that’s not my, uh,” said an actual voice, to Ben’s surprise. It was Kip, wiping foulness from his chins and stumbling to his feet. “Thing. Name.”

“Wait,” said Ben, “you can hear that?”

Damn it, said the voice. I thought he was passed out.

NaNoWriMo 2011

NaNoWriMo, Personal — posted at 9:17 am

It looks like I might be taking a stab at a half-length (25,000 words) NaNoWriMo this year! I attempted a full-length NaNo many years ago with little success, so perhaps a half-length will prove a little easier. Or maybe I'll dissolve into a quivering blob of tears when faced with the inevitable writer's block! You paid for the whole seat, folks, but you're only going to need the edge.

Anyway, I'll be using this blog to post my story as I write it. Remember that NaNo stories are, like, totally rough drafts, and stuff, man; this won't exactly be Chaucer. But I'm gonna finish those 25,000 words, dammit! Probably.


Update: Links to individual days' work can be found below!

Part 1 (November 1)

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