Saturday, July 31, 2010

35,000 Words

Sadly, it looks as if John has won the contest. *cough, cough* I mean, congratulations, John!

In all seriousness, cheers to all who participated. I've done short (two week) contests before, and now I've completed a two month contest. All-in-all, I think the two month contest is actually harder. Marathons are tough. It's easy to be ultra focused and ultra motivated for a short period of time. It's tough to maintain it.

At the end of the contest, I am not the winner, nor am I even in the top three. However, and this is important, Jenny did not make me cry. So, even though I'm not necessarily THE winner, I call it a win.

Also, that goes for the 35,000 words I've written in the past two months. That comes out to 100 new pages, or 2 full CWC submissions, or about 4 months before I'll be submitting pages I haven't written yet. That's cool.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I Love ya, tomorrow!

Tomorrow's the last day of the contest and I confess I just wasn't up to the challenge. Too many balls to juggle lately and there were a few others I decided were more important than the contest. I'm feeling alright with how I did, even knowing I'm getting beat.

For tomorrow, my aim is 35,000 words. It's a nice, round number to finish on.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Final Time

Boy howdy, summer classes go fast.

Today's the day my 121 students had their final exam. Their final is to write a self-evaluation essay discussing their writing abilities.

It's fascinating to see their commentaries on how their writing has changed, in some cases a great deal, in just two months.

Now comes the grading. Today I collected two papers - one last formal paper that they've been working on in class, and the final. Grades are due Wednesday. You can guess what my plans for the next two days involve.

It's going to be tough to do final grading and still make progress on the contest, but I'm going to do my best to do exactly that. Here goes a very intense few days.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

10... 9... 8...

We're getting down to the last few days of the contest and people are starting to feel the pressure. Jenny did an update yesterday, and already, those tallies are inaccurate. Now, on the last leg of the race, everyone's reaching down deep and pulling out the stops.

Honestly, I don't know if I have a chance at all of winning - the timing of the contest has been working against me and going into the last week I'm also facing grading finals and essays from my summer class (which has exactly synced with the contest). As of Monday, I'm going to collect approximately 45 essays which I'll have to read and grade by Wednesday, when final grades are due. Piece of cake.

Oh, and I have about 20,000 words to write, post haste, in order to catch up to the contest leaders. And that's only if none of them decide to write any more. Yeesh.

We're coming down to the finish line, folks and all I can say is, in the immortal words of Samuel L. Jackson on Jurassic Park, "Hold on to your butts."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Write Like

I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

America's Got Talent

I'm not much of a one for reality TV shows. So much of it is focused on whining, cat fights and petty melodrama and I've got little patience for it. However, there are a couple of reality shows that I'm totally hooked on. The main difference for me is that these shows are about people who have genuine talents facing off against each other to see who wins out. Less politics, more talent.

Right now I'm in the midst of this season's offerings of Last Comic Standing, Hell's Kitchen, and America's Got Talent. To me, the last one is the best of them all because it gives a chance to people who ordinarily wouldn't make it. Have you seen Airpocalypse? I mean, come on, they're an air band for crying out loud! And, all the same, I must admit they're way entertaining. Though, I'll add that some of the acts that made the cut to Hollywood are absolutely not anything I'd vote for. Mary Ellen and Ronith being at the top of my "Are you kidding me?" list.

Definitely lots of cool performances overall, though, and I'm pleased as punch that some of my favorites got sent to the next level. If you don't watch the show, you should check out the Hollywood acts. There's some top-notch material. Here's who I'm rooting for:

Ali and Christina
CJ Dippa
Debra Romer
Fighting Gravity
Lindsey Stirling
Michael Grimm
Prince Poppycock
Studio One Young Beast Society
Taylor Matthews
Wreckless Dance Crew

Who are your favorites?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bring on the Second Half

It seems like June went by in a flash. I give a lot of the credit for that to teaching a class this summer. Having an abbreviated, two-month semester means a pretty hardcore schedule of prep and grading, especially since I'm teaching the summer class at a new school.

I didn't make as much progress with the writing contest as I had hoped, but my plan is to step up my pace now that I've developed a rhythm with the summer class.

What I do know for sure is that I've gained some distance between me and Jenny, which will make it more difficult for her to accomplish her contest goal of beating me and making me cry. Now if only there was less distance between me and the other competitors who're way out ahead.