November 5th, 2002

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The 6th from the last American patriot

My 5:00 conference call stretched until 6:20, after which I began the frantic drive to my polling place. I just made it by 7:00, fitting in as the 6th person from the back of the line. As one of the marital pair of two (2) Democrats in Collin County, Texas, I felt that I had to show up and throw my vote for the folks whose views mostly closely match my own.

The wait was one hour and thirty minutes. We're talking all of Buffy. We're talking most of Smallville. I considered my patriotic duty more important than television.

The statewide races here ceased being close, but I did get to vote for the arts center bond issue and for the senior citizen center bond issue. I was joking with a fellow in line--these are my issues: libraries, hiking trails, access to Broadway plays featuring former gymnasts and skaters, schools, and museums.
Sign me up for those, and for anything that feeds the poor.

I couldn't help but think, though, that in the time I was waiting in line, I could have written 2,000 words.
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My life as a reader of posts about novels

I've enjoyed this National Novel Writing Month thing a good bit. I'll probably finish my novel this weekend. But the myriad of nanowrimo community posts on my friends' list are a wondrous thing.

My own first person contact-with-an-alien-species-as-metaphor-for-cyberspace novel is proceeding along predictable gurdonark lines. It has lots of editorial comment ("who is that John Galt anyway, and why the heck does he need 150 pages of monologue to express such a simple set of ideas?"), lots of random rumination, more than a little grammatical flaw, and almost nothing remotely resembling a plot or characters. It's a lot like my poetry or my journal posts--long rambling excursions about pretty much nothing, like being lost on a country road, and scanning the horizon with binoculars.

But this nanowrimo community involves rampant plot excerpts, hectoring cries for critiques, characters killed, characters revised, novels deleted, novels renamed, webpages about the webpages about the novel, intricate histories, indelible joy and all manners of life's mayhem. It all rather makes me feel as though I am daydreaming of a fairly chaste kiss while everyone else is at third base.

I like to think, though, that chaste kisses have their place, and
I'm 20,900 words from playing spin the bottle.
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