1) Write 15 minutes a day every day.
2) That's it. No word count, nothing big... just write every day.
I'm taking the challenge that Laurie Halse Anderson has put out there and am going to attempt to write 15 minutes a day every day. I may post bits of it here. I know this is my "NaNoWriMo persona" but hey - it's a free account I've already got set up so why not?
Note: all stuff written here is mine (warts and all). It's probably first draftish stuff, and hasn't seen the inside of an editor's head yet, so be warned. And also, please don't steal it. Thanks.
There are some days when I wish someone had invented an automatic translator so you could understand your pets. I mean, I always wonder what our dog Max thinks when my brother sneezes lightning around him. Does he think "wow... what a cool light show" or is he scared to death and just not admitting it?
Now there's a thought – do dogs, or cats, think like that? That would be so cool to figure out. Do they put on a "cool" face just to impress us? Well, cats might... I don't think dogs can. Dogs wear their hearts on their sleeves, well, if they wore sleeves anyway. It's in their tails. It doesn't matter if I've been gone for three days or three minutes, Max is right there by the front door, tail thump-thump-thumping to see me.
Do we just interpret that as happiness when it's really something else? Maybe they're just hungry all the time and they associate us with their food. You know, sort of like what Pavlov did. No, wait... then they'd be drooling, not thumping, right?
And when the sneeze-lightning happens, Max is all like "so what?" and goes back to sleep usually. He didn't at first, but he's used to it now. Like the rest of us. I just wish my brother could do it on cue. It's not like he sneezes lightning every time he sneezes... only when he's around Max. And the lightning only goes around Max. Hmmm... maybe there's a research project I can do on that – it might be one way to get my grades up in this school here.
That's another thing. School back home I could deal with. I knew how to read the teachers and give them what they wanted, so I could put out the minimum amount of work and still get the A's that Dad knew I could get. Darn that stupid IQ test when we were kids anyway. And I've tried to tell him a hundred times that IQ and grades don't necessarily correlate – that there's lots of research out there to prove that and besides, IQ tests given at that young age are bound to be way off. He listens to my arguments, and then systematically, scientifically goes about knocking down each roadblock I try to put up. Like the age thing... we've been given IQ tests of 7 different types and each one is "within an acceptable statistical variance." Which means that it's basically the same IQ each time. And when your IQ is that high, and you actually do know how to get A's, then those A's better be coming home from school on a regular basis or have a good reason why they're not. And "because I didn't like the teacher or the subject" is not a good reason. I found that out one semester.
So anyway, I'm good at getting A's and doing very little work for them. It's mostly because I'm a really good people reader. And I know what teachers want and how they write their tests. It got to be so easy to take some of those tests that I would not even need to read the chapter – all of the answers were hidden within the test itself somewhere. You just had to know how to read it.
But here, on this planet, I have aliens for teachers. I have no idea how to read them. Or rather, I'm learning how to read them. And they don't give multiple choice tests! They quiz you one-on-one and test to see exactly how well you understand the material. I mean, is that fair? How am I supposed to laze around and just pass when I actually have to work? And it's not just reading a book here – to study about anything, you actually do the thing. Like build a real bridge that you have to ride your own bike over or write a Syndarctic poem. (I had to read about three dozen of those before I even had a clue as to how they were different from Protolarean poems.... both of which are all the rage in this part of the galaxy.)