A Symphony of Fail

I am the ape man. I am the walrus.


I am neither of those things. I am the fail whale.

Yes. That is me, sad tighty whiteys and all.

Fail a’ Fail-a-rino.

Today is November 30th. The last day of the festivities that are National Novel Writing Month.

This is the annual event where writers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

2011 marks the sixth time I have had a go at NaNoWriMo.

My first shot was in 2004. I struggled, but made it the first time out of the gate. There have been years since then when I have skipped participation. But every one of the five years I have tried my hand at NaNoWriMo, I have succeeded in passing the finish line by the 30th of the month.

One year, I finished in 21 days. Yeah, that rocked.

This year, however. Well.

50,000 words are the goal. As of this moment, I have 14,239.

See. I didn’t just fail a little. I failed a lot.

A big round blobby smelly unctuous fail.

That’s me. Mz Failsalot.

I was going to simply try to hide this away. Pretend it didn’t happen. Not say a word. Not mention it to anybody unless they asked.

Then I decided that confession is good for the soul.

Own it! Sing it! Love it!

Yes, yes…I’m one of those perfectionist kinda gals. It makes me happy to complete what I start. Completing a project matters.

Also, I’m excessively proud of my ability to produce words. Not just any words, but halfway decent words written at a rapid clip. Paragraphs with a good foundation that some powerful editing can improve and shape into literary magic.

But this year, way too many hours at work (a project is failing and I’m paddling as fast as I can to keep it a’float), a prolonged bout of writers block (see Monday’s post), and an extraordinary amount of hubris (I had the audacity to TALK ABOUT my story idea…..that is certain death to creativity) came together in the perfect storm that smashed my tiny seafaring vessel to the rocks.

Oh, the drama! The anxiety! The shaaaaaaame.

Yep. I blew it. I firmly believe that owning it, giving my failure both light and air, and speaking of it publicly……Well, all of that takes the sting out of it. Draws out the venom.

Helps me be ok with it. And learn from it.

So today, I sing a song of failure. It starts off sad, like an Irish lament, but ends up peppy like a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

Fffffffffffffffffffffffailure where the agony comes sweeping down The Muse!

Whew. Now I just need to do an act of contrition, and the Universe will grant me absolution.


Fail whale image is by Ed Wheeler and found on deviantart.com. Follow him on Twitter @EduardoWheeler

Oh So Very Subtle

First posted here almost three years ago and it turns out it’s still timely.

Earlier today I had a long and spirited conversation with my boss about my need to spend a small amount to better support my organization. Any budget requests are generally rejected, no matter how small. So he and I plotted ways we could still accurately categorize the costs, but make the request seem palatable.

That ability to make it subtle is harder than it looks.


From a high level meeting I attended at work, during which we had an hour long debate about a difficult and political situation regarding budgets (if you haven’t done the corporate thang, then know that nothing gets hackles raised like budget conversations).

At the end of the meeting, the Financial Analyst said to the Senior Director,

“So, do I make it so?”

“No.” He replied, sternly. “Make it subtle.”

I had to write it down, it was just too good.

Jean Luc Picard facepalm found all over the ‘net. Let me know if this photo belongs to you and I’ll add attribution or remove.

My Bounceback Done Gone

First of all…I’m glad to be back on the interwebs. The hotel where I’m staying this week is supposed to have free WiFI, and in the past, it’s always been great, allowing me to surf and do email with ease.

During this week it’s been dog slow. At one point it took a half hour for a page to load. For three days I’ve been begging someone to restart the router on my floor and this netted me many a blank stare from the hotel staff.

They finally gave me a tech support number and the nice tech support guy in another country diagnosed my technical issues. And then he restarted the router. Sheesh!


Along with interweb woes, I’ve been living it up a little on the road food. (see my abject joy of Sonic post).

Lately (meaning, prior to this trip) I’ve been trying to eat small meals several times a day. Good small meals with lots of lean protein and less sugar along with going easy on the dairy, and no gluten.

God I’m getting old. Look at that paragraph above. Sheesh.

But…when I do all of that and throw in a little exercise, I feel pretty good. I sleep well. My brain is clear. I have energy.

Today, I had to endure a daylong training class. I did nothing more than sit on my rear all day. No exercise and boooooring. So to pass the time I poured milk in my coffee (bloat) and had a pastry from the oh too pretty plate of goodies (tummy gurgle) and ate a sizeable lunch on top (*burp*).

Now I’m all bloated up like Violet Beauregarde (the one who swelled up into a blueberry and had to be juiced) and wondering just what in the heck possessed me when I know better?

As I said to the good man via a whiny text message….”A few minutes of :) for several days of :( Ugh!”

Ugh, indeed.

It didn’t used to be like this. I used to be able to eat dairy and wheat and fats of all sorts of saturation with reckless abandon!

Where did it all go wrong?

I aged. That’s where it all went wrong. At 22 I could bounce back from a journey down cheesey tater tot lane in about a day. Now it takes me many days and some hard work and diligence just to come back to even.


Thus ends my whining for the day.

I know, I know…ya’ll went two days without a blog post for this? Hmph!

I’ll try harder tomorrow.

There’s a special place in hell for…

Long time reader and cyber friend Elise suggested yesterday in the comments section that I pipe down on my Christmas cheer. So today, I bring you a crankier post, more in line with my usual holiday mood.

There is a special place in hell for…

…people who cook bacon in the work microwave. How exactly am I supposed to concentrate?

…people who park their moderately fancy car diagonally across three parking spaces.

…people who won’t take the last cookie, but they’ll break off half and leave the rest behind as a guilt offering. Just take the last damn cookie! (same deal on pie, cake, donuts and other pastries).

…people who don’t flush the toilet after they use it

…people who arrive late then stand too close to me in aerobics class. (How’s a tall girl supposed to swing these limbs with you up my behind?! I got here early and so can you.)

…people who lecture the work group about being brief in emails, and take half an hour to repeatedly make the point

…people who leave their dirty dishes in the break room for someone else to deal with instead of taking them back to the cafeteria. Entitled much?

…people who are mean as a standard course of action throughout their day (yes, I have someone in mind)

…executives of any company or government agency who cannot be bothered to acknowledge a hello when passed in the hallway, on the street, in general

…people who run Craigslist scams when an honest person is just trying to find a decent place to rent

…whoever that person is who keeps sending out the “I am a Nigerian Prince” emails. Does anyone even fall for that anymore?

…used car salesmen (no particular reason, just on general principle due to the lack of principle)

…anyone at any time as I see fit. Bwahahahahahahahaha!

Photo by Glenn Pebley and used royalty free from stock.xchng.