West Meets East

A Western man travels East in search of love, opportunity and happiness.

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Name:Michael Strickland

This blog chronicles my adventures as I leave my native California and travel east to northern Virginia to start a new life. I can only imagine the funny stories I'll recount here as I experience a wildly different climate, culture and way of life.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Official NaNoWriMo 2005 ParticipantNo, that isn't some bizarre shortening of "Nah, Not Writing More." It's the pseudo-acronym for National Novel Writing Month. And I just jumped head-first into the deep end. NaNoWriMo is a month-long challenge to lazy writers everywhere (especially yours truly) to get off their asses and write a novel in 30 days or less. That's right, 50,000 words (not one word less) in one month.

We writers treasure our procrastination, give it loving attention, cultivate it like a delicate flower. So this "contest" is a sledgehammer to our verbal glass-blowing. Forget about writing well, screw the careful construction, just write, write, write. It's all about word count. The idea is, by locking up the internal critic for a month and cracking the whip, we'll break our writers' blocks and actually produce a body of work. And if a few of us are lucky, the end result might have a scene or two worth salvaging (or it could even become a novel someone might want to read, after many page-one rewrites).

Lucky me, I forgot all about this big event until November 10, so in order to participate, I have to do it in two-thirds the time everyone else got. But I figure it's worth the effort, even if I don't reach the 50K mark. At least I'll smash a few windows in my mind along the way and let some fresh air inside.

Barring any big events worth reporting immediately, I probably won't be adding to this blog till December (unless I give up, and then I'll be too embarassed to post here anyway). In the meantime, you can look me up at the NaNoWriMo site under the name "Crapsmith" if you want to read an excerpt and follow my progress.


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