Dancers and Instructors at Harvey Zumbathon in Round Rock, TX

The Zumbathon for Harvey

I wrote this Pantoum-mime poem in honor of the many people inside and outside of Texas who have given any aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. by R. L. Copple - 9/4/2017 The call goes...

R. L. Copple's Blog

10 Day Novel Challenge: Day 1

On starting day of this challenge, awoke at 1 pm. Would have been a solid seven hours of sleep save a nurse call I was expecting woke me around 10 am. Had trouble getting back to sleep, so closer to six hours of sleep. Anyway, went through my morning routine. Grits for breakfast, went through email, started a pot of beans cooking in the slow cooker for dinner. Finished most of the emails but none of the blogs when 3 pm arrived. The time my wife was supposed to be picking me up to go clean a vacation house. But she was running behind which gave me an extra 30 minutes to finish up a reply to an email.

Wife picked me up around 3:40 in the rain. We had to stop at another house first to take care of a couple of items before taking the 20 minute drive to the house we were to clean. At least it was supposed to take 20 minutes, save for the two wrecks we had to snake our way around at 10 mph. But we got there around 4:45, and finished the job a little before 8. Returned home around 8:30.

We promptly partook of pinto beans and a salad while I recaught up on emails and scanned the blogs. Jumped on Facebook to respond to a couple of people and quickly scanned the feeds. Called my son after doing some phone research to find out what he wanted for a phone. We’re on a family plan and he’s not happy with his android phone. Oh well.

After some time with my wife, she fell asleep early, but she’d have to wake up to get ready for bed. I let her nap while I finally turned my attention to the novel at hand around 10:45 pm. First order of business was to review the outline to orient myself to the proposed plot and the characters. I spent about 30 minutes doing that, changing the names of my two MCs (used them in the novel I did instead of this one some years ago) that gave me opportunity to make them more interesting. Named the two counties where the story takes place, along with three cities I knew I’d need. More will come, but I’ll come up with those as I go.

By 11:15, I started writing. I wrote most of the first 1022 words in 1.75 hours, stopping at 1 am. I actually at one point had started the book, and wrote the first two chapters some years ago. I recall most of what I did, but didn’t go back and read them. I wanted what I wrote now to be as unencumbered with what I did before as possible. After all, I’ve hopefully learned a thing or two since then.

Took a break, woke my wife up. We got some ice cream and I made some hot blueberry tea. Returned to writing at 1:26 am. Wife went on Facebook in the meantime. Worked another half hour until 2:06, putting in another 479 words. Took another break to officially put my wife to bed, then grabbed a bowl of prunes and cashews and went back at it at 2:57. I wrote until 4:18, at which point I called it quits. That added another 780 words to the count.

Totals are 2281 words in 3.5 hours of writing, averaging out to 652 words an hour. Better than I did last night. Good NaNo day, but not going to make it in ten days at this pace.

I’ve mentioned my bad left hand. I suppose I should explain. Last October, and all through NaNo November, I noticed my left hand didn’t want to work smoothly. My mind would tell a finger to press a key, and it would do one of three things: press the key once, twice, or not at all. Since then about half the words I’m either pausing to type, or backspacing to erase letters that aren’t supposed to be there. It has cut my typing speed in about half of what it used to be, and takes a bit more work to do. I’m thinking I may need to try a voice recognition program. Anyway, finally went to the doctor this past June, and he believes it may be Parkinson’s Disease. I’ve been referred to a neurologist that I’ll see in December for a fuller diagnosis. Meanwhile, I am on meds to help control the tremors that developed earlier this year, but my speed has only marginally increased.

I don’t say this to gain your pity, just to let you know why my word count per hour is so low to what most people’s is. That said, as I’ve proved last November, have proved the last two days, and will undoubtedly prove again this coming Nov, I can still crank out a novel in a month. If I could put enough hours into it now, I could write one in ten days. But my wife has me on a heavy schedule next week with few, if any, days off. So this will really be a test if I can pull this off. So far, I’m behind. Will take some good writing days to make it. If not, I’ll keep going until it is done, and take everyone here with me. Time to get to bed so I can tackle it tomorrow.

10 Day Novel Challenge Totals:

Day 1: 2281

—————-

Total: 2281

About R. L. Copple
R. L. Copple enjoys a good cup of coffee and a fun story. These two realities and inspiration from the likes of Lester Del Ray, J. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, among others, caused him to write his own science fiction and fantasy stories to increase the fun in the world and to share his fresh perspective.
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4 Responses to 10 Day Novel Challenge: Day 1

  1. Daniel R. Robichaud says:

    I saw your comment over at Dean’s blog and followed it back here.

    Congrats on accepting the ten day novel challenge! I hope you accomplish some great things and learn a bit too, though you hand is working against you…. Have fun!

    • R. L. Copple says:

      Thanks, Daniel. If nothing else, I’ll have an additional novel to add to this year’s totals that I wasn’t planning on. A fun challenge, even if I don’t make it in ten days.

  2. Alice says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your medical issue. :(

    I hope your diagnosis will be better than expected. It does sound like a voice recognition program would help you right now.

    I hope your writing goes well – will be checking in to see how you do!!

    • R. L. Copple says:

      Thanks, Alice. You prompted me to take a break and do some checking. Just ordered the Dragon Naturally Speaking program from Amazon. Should arrive Tuesday. Will it save the day? We’ll see.

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