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We’d been in California for a few days and the previous night at my work Christmas party. Three years ago this morning, we flew to Las Vegas. One of us (not me) was airsick as we landed in the middle of a sand storm. Ironic, because this was literally a whirlwind. Work put us up in a lavish hotel on the strip, one of the last acts of kindness I’ll remember them for.

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If you had asked me if members of Congress were exempt from insider trading before today, I would have said yes, of course. I would have argued that, with the kinds of information that our congressmen and -woman are privy to, they especially should not be allowed to use non-public information to trade stock for financial gain. Knowing when to buy or sell a stock when a company is about to have a contract terminated, or is about to come under congressional investigation, for example, is privileged, sometimes even classified information.

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NaNoWriMo is over. I failed to win. I failed, but there are lessons in failure. I set out to do a few things aside from writing 50k words. I wanted to learn to turn off my internal editor when I needed to, so that I could write first drafts on the computer. I wanted to write something longer than I’d written before, previously around 6,000 words. I wanted to get a better understanding of novel structure.

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I wrote this in the middle of the night as news of the raid on the #occulyla camp was breaking on twitter, half asleep but compelled to get some of my thoughts written down before I fell asleep: The police are within their duties to do remove occupiers as occupiers are within theirs to commit acts of peaceful civil disobedience. Where law breaks down, in my mind, is when those in the upper echelons of authority usurp the power of the press by controlling who can report when, and by what media, which by extension raises the question of the accuracy and lens through which the truth is filtered.

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I feel like I’ve been at a near standstill the last four days. With one zero day among them, I’ve barely scratched a thousand words among them. To make up for the shortfall, I need to write roughly 2,400 words/day though the rest of the month in order to hit the Nano goal of 50k. I’ve hit that number once this month. It’s going to be a nail biter. —

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I found my stride yesterday, sixteen days in. I didn’t strictly follow end of day guidelines for Nano, calling it a day somewhere close to 1AM. I drafted a scene and a part of the next and it’s the best writing I’ve done all month. It’s what all others will be held up and compared to, and mocked mercilessly when they fall short. — Project: Black Mirror New words written: 1,803

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Hello, folks, this is your captain speaking. We’ve reached the halfway mark in our journey to noveldom. There’s been some minor turbulence along the way but we’re in blue skies now. Almost. — Project: Black Mirror New words written: 2,421 Reason for stopping: End of day — In this hot mess of first draft spagetti and a generous serving of cheese, I’m learning a lot. One being that I’m frighteningly close to the climax of the story and that the later part of the month will see me going back through and filling in things that I skipped over.

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Yesterday was the fourteenth day of Nano and I haven’t missed a one. I feel pretty good about that, no matter what else happens. I crossed the 20k mark, which feels awesome. I am beginning to grok this pacing thing. Fires are smoldering inside my cranium. You can read about this, talk about this, but there is no substitute for doing. — Project: Black Mirror New words written: 1,150 Reason for stopping: End of day

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I can’t believe it’s been almost a year and a half since my Spoon! blog post, where a group of friends conspired to sent me their spoons to counteract the loss of my own thanks to newly acquired but chronic illness during a time of great life upheaval. I carried this box of carefully wrapped spoons with me everywhere. I received it in Illinois, where I was living with my Mom pre-Clarion.

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Yesterday was another low day, both in mood and writing. My daily target is creeping up slightly, to 1,932 words. Still within reason but I’m not happy about the lack of progress the last few days. Mostly, this comes down to November being November, and my inexperience writing at this length. This shake down cruise is not without its bumps. — Project: Black Mirror New words written: 473 Reason for stopping: End of Day

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