Strip Poker

Each word bares more skin until

 you sit at the table naked,

wondering drunkenly what

happened to all the aces.

There were four of them.

At least one should have made it

to your hand. Instead, you rake

your ink-stained fingers through

already tousled hair and curse

          the media for giving you a stupid audience.

          the critics for bludgeoning you

          the dollar for avoiding you.

          and the muse for abandoning you.

Copyright © 2011 Amanda Jean Partridge

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Excuses and Happy Accidents

“[T]he moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but I have a good excuse, really.

Over the years, there has been an ever-growing list of things I wanted to be when I got out of school and had to join the real world. The list was as varied as my interests were: Egyptologist, secretary, editor at a major publishing company. Under all those things, though, was my love of books and writing. More than anything, I wanted to be a writer. I knew, however, that writers didn’t make money (neither did archaeologists or secretaries, for that matter), and so I needed to find another profession, one that could feed and house me. After all, I am fond of food.

When I accidentally became the on-site coordinator for RJ‘s wedding (and loved it!), I realized that I could be an excellent event coordinator. It requires organization, the ability to multi-task, and flexibility when it comes to working hours. In many ways, it is the perfect job for me. Those of you who know me know that I tend to take on too many projects at once. I love being busy, and I like to be actively involved in organizations of which I am a part. This lifestyle of acquiring stray assignments means that I have all of the prerequisite traits of an event coordinator. The only flaw is that I hate crowds; parties, therefore, are not my ideal setting. I was determined, though. I had found a job that I could do. The only thing I needed was a client base (and a network of vendors).

Then one day, around two months after I received my BA, I was approached by an acquaintance of mine who owns a business. He needed someone to write articles and do website maintenance for his business, and a mutual acquaintance informed him that my degree was in English, and that I enjoyed writing. This began my career as a freelance writer and editor.

Since that time, I have been working to build a website to advertise my freelance services, as well as taking up writing and editing jobs that come my way. The work that has been my dream since I was eleven has finally become reality, partially through hard work on my part and partially through happy accident (also known as God). I now have the job that I have always believed was my calling.

What do you think? Is it a good enough excuse?

NaNoWriMo

Every year, the challenge comes around: write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

It’s a great concept. The dare of an outlandish word count gives writers motivation to do the impossible. The final result of 50,000 words (or less, if the full word count isn’t achieved) gives material, no matter how poor, with which to work. Bad material to edit is better than no material to edit. I think that National Novel Writing Month is a wonderful challenge in which all writers should participate.

I can never participate.

I always start with the best of intentions, but November always proves to be the busiest month of my year. This year, I have my senior paper, another research paper, and a series of nonfiction essays. 1667 words a day on top of all of that seems a bit much.

Instead, I’ll be pushing my NaNoWri challenge to December. It seems like the best idea for my personal schedule. During November, I’ll try to stick with my daily 250-words to keep up my writing going.

What about you? Are you participating in the November word count challenge? Do you have another month in which you try to meet the 50,000 word dare? How do you challenge yourself in your writing?