Month: November 2002

44,968 words in the next 10 hours and 12 minutes

Unless I can write 44,968 words in the next 10 hours and 12 minutes, which I won’t, my NaNoWriMo experience will end in failure.

I haven’t entirely lost interest in finishing this novel. I think NaNoWriMo spurred me to actually start writing and to be excited about it. For many reasons, though, the main one being time (more accurately, my less-than-optimal use of it), I wasn’t able to write 50,000 words this month.

Maybe next year I’ll be in a stable enough situation that 50,000 words in a month is a realistic goal. It just wasn’t, this year.

[Note: this blog entry originally appeared in my November 2002 NaNoWriMo blog, “Notes on the Text.” I’ve now moved all of those entries into the “Imagine a Novel Weblog” category of this blog.]

kind of a bust, or, little hope

Ah, November. How fast you are passing. How non-Novembery it feels here in the Bay Area, with highs ranging from 62 all the way up into the 70s.

How little work I’ve done on my so-called novel. I’ll work on it again, or I’ll come up with a better idea. Or I’ll even spew out 45,000 words over Thanksgiving weekend.

ornamental divider

Huh. It looks like it’s been two years since I started this site (see navigation to the right). The last year has been kind of a bust, output-wise, but I think overall I’m glad I have this site on which I can vent occasionally (and attempt to keep you, whoever you are, somewhat updated on what’s happening my life).

ornamental divider

A typical Gohlke day turns into a scam investigation: Several months ago, just after moving here, I found the web site of a supposed non-profit called “ACCESS: Networking In The Public Interest” that advertised a supposed non-profit job fair in San Francisco in November. I noted it mentally, bookmarked the site, and continued with the job-seeking process.

Meanwhile, despite how much I really like the Bay Area, the idea of going back to the Midwest has occasionally surfaced in my mind. I seem to have underestimated how much I would miss 1. my friends and family and 2. a full-time job that pays a steady wage I can live on. Yesterday, I called both of my last two bosses to gauge the likelihood of a spot opening for me again. The dearth of job openings so far here makes me feel I have to explore all of my options. [There’s little hope in budget-strapped Minnesota, especially with someone else, whose position had been eliminated, already having transferred into my old position; and I haven’t had the conversation with Tim in Madison yet.]

I must admit, however, that the idea of getting a full-time job here is still quite attractive. Around noon yesterday, the memory of the non-profit job fair popped back into my mind. I knew it was scheduled for some time in November but was sure I’d have missed it by now; November’s already half-over. I checked the web site and couldn’t believe it—it was scheduled for yesterday from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm. A registration fee of $15 was required, which I figured I could pay in cash at the door. After some quick calculations, I decided to go—at worst, I thought, I’d have two hours to hand out my résumé. I showered, shaved, and put on a nice shirt and slacks and my best shoes. I updated my résumé and business card and printed 10 copies of each. I was ready, and it wasn’t even 1:30 yet.

I decided to drive, since the building was about a mile from the nearest BART stop. I hopped in the car and drove down to Ashby—and at San Pablo, halfway to the freeway, there was a police roadblock preventing anyone from going west on Ashby. I took this as a bad sign. (I found out later that it was because of a fatal bank robbery.)

I found myself in the left lane and was forced to take a left onto San Pablo. A couple right turns later, I was heading north on Hollis, which is a street I’m vaguely familiar with from my occasional Emeryville shopping trips. Traffic was quickly increasing, making me wonder if I shouldn’t just drive to the Ashby BART station and go that way. I was persistent, however, and, after an ill-advised left turn into an industrial park dead-end and some waiting for traffic lights, I managed to get back on Ashby going west to I-80.

By this time it was 1:30. Traffic was incredibly light from the Bay Bridge to the Fremont Street exit in the city. I got off the freeway, crossed Market Street, waited some more, and took a left on Pine. I went up and down a hill or two to Van Ness.

The job fair web site said that the fair was at the Regency Building (I swear that earlier it said the Hotel Regency, but I can’t be sure), on the corner of Sutter and Van Ness. I found a parking spot two blocks away, after a reasonable number of circles around several blocks. It was about 2 pm when I approached the Regency Building, which existed as promised. I approached the entrance on Van Ness, which was locked. I looked inside the glass doors (one of which bore a notice warning of the perils of trespassing) and saw an empty ballroom. Curious.

I went around to the Sutter side of the building and entered the side door. I found myself in what appeared to be the lobby of an apartment building. An attendant was there, a maintenance or resident-manager-type guy. He greeted me kindly and, after I asked about the non-profit job fair, explained that, yes, people had been coming and asking about it all day, but, no, he had no knowledge of such an event. He opened a wide door to show me that there was nothing in the vast, vacant ballrooms.

I thanked the man for his time and left, perplexed. As I thought about it, it seemed more like a scam. There was no job fair, but no notification of its cancellation on the “ACCESS Networking In The Public Interest” web site and nothing posted at the building. More on the scam page.

On my walk back to the car, I spotted Kyoto Sushi. I hadn’t eaten anything all day (which is, of course, unusual for me), so I decided to make the trip at least somewhat worthwhile. I stopped for sushi. Overall, I’d recommend Kyoto Sushi if you’re in the neighborhood. The price is pretty reasonable for what you get.

Around 3:45, I attempted to drive back home to Berkeley from SF before I had to go to work in Oakland, but I-80 was jammed up basically the entire way. (The sign on the freeway said that the University Avenue off-ramps in Berkeley were closed due to “police action”—having to do with the bank robbery earlier.) At the last minute, I decided to forget about going home and took 580 to Oakland, which was a good idea, since I would not otherwise have made it to work on time.

[I made a special page for my inquiries about ACCESS: Networking In the Public Interest and the non-existent non-profit job fair I attempted to attend on November 21st, 2002. Though I wasn’t seriously victimized, I believe the possibility exists that other people have been and still are.]

fear and sleep: equal culprits

Well, hello. I have written 5,032 words so far. I should have written 18,333 by the end of the 11th. I am merely 8 days behind the projected pace, after 11 days, but am now making an attempt to catch up. That, plus freelance work, will keep these weblog entries brief.

I was pretty burned out after working so hard Saturday and Tuesday on election-related stuff (mostly calling people to get them to vote). I couldn’t really bring myself to open up the Appleworks file and write. Fear and sleep were equal culprits.

This is very typical of me. I’ll probably finish. I can already tell Thanksgiving will be a sprint.

[Note: this blog entry originally appeared in my November 2002 NaNoWriMo blog, “Notes on the Text.” I’ve now moved all of those entries into the “Imagine a Novel Weblog” category of this blog.]

procrastination has always worked well

Again, I have failed to get to bed at any reasonable hour tonight. Unfortunately, I didn’t even quite keep up with the pace—I’m only at 4105 (out of 5000, where I should be after 3 days). I’ll catch up this week or over the weekend. Or over Thanksgiving weekend, perhaps. Procrastination has always worked well for me. I’m actually giving my subconscious time to stew over the characters and situations I’ve come up with so far, so that I can generate some stunningly original inspirations out of seemingly nowhere in a week or two. That’s it.

[Note: this blog entry originally appeared in my November 2002 NaNoWriMo blog, “Notes on the Text.” I’ve now moved all of those entries into the “Imagine a Novel Weblog” category of this blog.]

sacrificed a couple hours of sleep

Well, I sacrificed a couple hours of sleep to get back on pace after two days of writing, if only temporarily. I have no plans to write much else today, Sunday, however.

Writing some dialogue on the BART Saturday worked pretty well, in retrospect. I’ll continue to use those moments productively. (Hell, even that’s justification enough to do this.)

[Note: this blog entry originally appeared in my November 2002 NaNoWriMo blog, “Notes on the Text.” I’ve now moved all of those entries into the “Imagine a Novel Weblog” category of this blog. Additionally, I said “the BART” — ha!]

a little behind the pace

I guess I’m a little behind the pace. Last night I attempted to get back to a normal sleep schedule. That way I’ll be able to spend the mornings working on freelance, and when I get caught up on that, I’ll work a bit on the novel. To be honest, with all the stuff I have scheduled this month, I don’t know if I’m going to want to keep up the 50,000 word pace. It’s not that I’m giving up, but I’m accepting that it might not be realistic. I’ll keep going and maybe do a weekend binge at some point.

[Note: this blog entry originally appeared in my November 2002 NaNoWriMo blog, “Notes on the Text.” I’ve now moved all of those entries into the “Imagine a Novel Weblog” category of this blog.]

slow going so far

Slow going so far—in five hours, I wrote 1858 words. I’m definitely going to have to pick up the pace to get it all in this month. Several breaks for e-mail slowed me down, as did far too much re-reading and fixing.

On the other hand, I think it shows a reasonable amount of promise.

[Note: this blog entry originally appeared in my November 2002 NaNoWriMo blog, “Notes on the Text.” I’ve now moved all of those entries into the “Imagine a Novel Weblog” category of this blog.]

It begins!

It begins! (Damn BART.) I got some good ideas at Happy Donut on Market Street, though, so I’m pretty psyched to start.

[Note: this blog entry originally appeared in my November 2002 NaNoWriMo blog, “Notes on the Text.” I’ve now moved all of those entries into the “Imagine a Novel Weblog” category of this blog. Also, I assume I condemned BART to hell because I got home at 12:54 am rather than sometime around 12:00 am.]

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