Writer’s Life: The Year of Insane, Rediculous, and Nonsensical Challenges

Posted by Nicky Drayden on Dec 29, 2010 in Writer's Life |

Photo by Derrick Tyson, Creative Commons

2010 was a pretty good year, but I have to be honest…I spent a good chunk of it staring off into space. Not outer space, mind you. That would actually be cool. I’ve been spending too much time in inner space, the realm between my ears, thinking about whatever aspiring writers think about. Word counts. Rejection slips. Blog posts. Chocolate.

In 2011, I want to do less thinking, because really what is it good for? Doing is better, right? So this coming year, I’m eager to take advantage of my awesome part-time work schedule and fill my days to the brim with ridiculous challenges. Ten of them sounds like a good number, so here they are in no particular order:

1. Write 1, Sub 1 (write and submit one story per week)

2. NaNoWriMo, because is there any other option?

3. Script Frenzy, because the rest of my writing group is doing it, and if they jumped off a bridge, I would too

4. Ride my bicycle every single day

5. Become fluent in Japanese, or at least be able to have a passable conversation

6. Story a Day in May, because sanity is overrated

7. Read 26 novels pulled off the shelves of Half Price Books at random (an author from each letter of the alphabet, different genres, $100 limit)

8. Learn to play an instrument, preferably a sitar if I can afford one (I am completely tone deaf, so this will be much harder than it sounds)

9. I’m pretty sure I’m going to regret this, but I’m going back to being a vegetarian (with exceptions made for turkey jerky, of course)

10. Learn to do a headstand, which probably means I’ll need to restart my yoga practice

And not counted in the above list, finishing three other novels that I’m working on in various stages of completion. I think it’s pretty doable. I mean, I can always practice my Japanese while doing a headstand, or play my sitar while reading, or figure out a way to rig a laptop to my handlebars so I can write while I ride. Multitasking will definitely be the key to a successful year.


Nicky Drayden
Apr 18, 2011 at 10:43 am

Day 106 – Nice day relaxing and recovering from Chicken and Waffles, which of course requires the traditional day after Chicken and Waffle Party waffles for breakfast. (Which is almost as awesome as the day before Chicken and Waffle Party taste test.) I took mom on my four-mile bike route, which was nice though a little windy.

Nicky Drayden
Apr 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Day 107 – Wasn’t looking forward to my bike ride, but talked myself into just doing a mile…then I went on to do the whole four! Getting on the bike really is half the challenge. I’m noticing an increase in speed too, which is nice since I can get done faster. I think I’m back on my vegetarian kick now, after a decidedly nice break from it. My mom made a ton of shredded salad that is DELICIOUS. It’s got carrots, red and white cabbage, celery, plus raisins, pecan pieces, and raspberry vinaigrette. Man, I have been so Zen lately. I think I’ve finally figured out who I am and what’s important, and that’s kind of nice. I guess wisdom comes with old age.

Nicky Drayden
Apr 21, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Days 108 and 109 – Did four miles yesterday-got my spedometer to work, which meant I wanted to see how fast I could go, which means that my hips now ache like crazy. Seriously? After 107 days on my bike, this can make me sore? Well, I took today easy anyway, still did 4 miles but at a very leisurely pace, though the wind almost knocked me off my bike.

I’ve got book club next week and will attempt to make a Puerto Rican dish and appetizer. I’m also excited about the annual doggie Easter egg hunt a friend of mine is having. Dana looks forward to it, and I bet she’s excited about getting to go for a swim.

Oh, and Portal 2 is out, so I’m playing a lot of that. Trying not to let it interfere with my writing TOO much.

Nicky Drayden
Apr 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Days 110 and 111 – Two garage rides in a row, but at least I got a nice walk in yesterday and went to my friend’s fourth annual doggie Easter egg hunt today. Had fun, but it was HOT out there, and poor Dana got some tangley burrs on her fur. But it was nice hanging out in the river, though you could see the water level was dropping by the day.

Playing Portal 2. Lots of fun.

Did get 3 hint fictions written and I’m working on a short story, about 1600 words now. Hosting book club on Monday. Still got to read half of a novel and critique it with only a week left!

Nicky Drayden
Apr 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Days 112 and 113 – One more short story sale! I’m waiting on the contracts before I do the official announcements, but I think this is one of my favorite stories. Book club was awesome. People liked the book for the most part. The Puerto Rican food went over pretty well. It was crazy going for a while there. I made Arroz con Gandules, with is rice with pigeon peas (which are a lot like black eyed peas.) I was worried there wouldn’t be enough time to cook the beans, but they came out all right. I made Sofrito from scratch, which is basically a bunch of pureed peppers, cilantro, onion and garlic. An hour before the book club, the kitchen looked like a war zone, but it all came together. I also made a virgin sangria with grape juice concentrate, pineapple juice, lime Itlalian soda, plus mango chunks, papaya, and some mix-berry fruit. It was pretty awesome. Favorite quote from the night about the book (The Sparrow) “This isn’t science fiction! This is just the future.”

Rode four miles yesterday, only one today, but it was in the “rain” so that should count twice. Had some chicken soup, but so what! Just have to finish doing a novel critique and I’ll be home free for April, I think. Man this has probably been the busiest month of my life, but I’ve really enjoyed it.

Nicky Drayden
Apr 28, 2011 at 7:04 am

Days 114 and 115 – Rode. Recovering from insane busyness. Wrote about zombies. Prioritizing writing goals for rest of the year.

Nicky Drayden
May 1, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Days 116 through 118 – Well, lots of stuff going on. Great weekend overall, went to a nerdy party that was awesome. One garage ride, and two shorter rides (two and three miles.) I might pull back from going to five miles right away. Not sure I really got the hang of four. Had a publication, color nook got apps, so I’ve been sucked into the world of Angry Birds. Got rid of a few things on bulk pick up day. It’s looking pretty good for being able to park a car in the garage! Cranked out my first story for Story a day, over 1600 words, which is just at the NaNo pace. The ending is pretty sketch, but that’s what June will be for.

Nicky Drayden
May 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Day 119 – Lazy day. Rode about two miles. Today’s Story a Day turned out rather nice, about mobster plants.

Nicky Drayden
May 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Day 124ish? – Am I really this many days behind? Sheesh! Well, still riding, trying to keep up with my story a day, but Angry Birds is giving it a run for its money. Just made some awesome purple jasmine rice and spotted horse beans, with red onion, mango, orange bell pepper, and cilantro chutney. Sooooo good! I almost feel like a real cook.



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