You ever have one of THOSE weeks?

You know, when your car breaks down and then your OTHER car breaks down and then a deer runs into YOU?

And your dog breaks free and your mule breaks free and your boss give you yet another project?

And everyone is mad at you and you’re not sleeping and you’re tired and it’s STILL not Friday?

And when it finally does become Friday, it will be Friday the 13th?

Yep, that’s this week. You betcha.

But even in the most stressful of times, good things can happen.

Like, for instance, if you find a good book that can help you relax.

Or even better yet, if you WRITE a good book that can help you relax.

That’s the ticket, right thar, and I was lucky enough to have one of those babies in my shirt pocket when this tough week hit.

And today?

Well, today, I cleared the 25,000-word bar with my NaNoWriMo novel, which means I’m a shade past my goal with 18 days left in the month.

That’s all well and good, but we humans are needy creatures, and we always want more. For me, in this case, “more” means that I want to accelerate my timeline. In particular, my NEW goal is to finish my 50,000 words by the time the novel submission page opens at on November 20.

Eight days — more than 24,000 words to go.

Will I make it? Seems like a heck of a tall order, but I’ll give it my best.

Happy NaNoWriMoing!

Daily Word Count: 2700

Total Word Count: 25,500

Daily Excerpt (totally raw — I know it needs editing — it’s OK if you tell me that anyway):

They didn’t stop in Shoals, but all three of them watched the little TK station go by to their left, each of them lost in thought. Once they were past, Dan felt compelled to watch the station grow smaller and smaller until it disappeared over the horizon. He realized he’d been holding his breath and let it out, feeling as if he’d cleared some sort of milestone.


After a few minutes of silence, the Hodges began chatting again, and, by the time another 50 miles had passed, they were their normal raucous traveling selves.


Between rounds of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” and the enigmas of “Riddly Diddly Dee,” Dan and Troy fell into a spirited conversation about the chances of the Reds that summer.


Nineteen eighty-three had been a dismal season for Cincinnati, make all the bleaker when Johnny Bench retired in October. Now, the only real link between the fabled Big Red Machine and this rag-tag bunch was shortstop Davey Concepcion, and he was just a shadow of the player who had been one of the heroes in the 1970s.


Most of the Reds’ tenuous hopes for contending hinged on young players like Gary Redus and Nick Esasky, but Cincinnati had also gambled on a big-name free agent signing.


Dave Parker had won a Most Valuable Player award for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1978, and it seemed like he was destined for Cooperstown. When the drug scandal hit the Pirates in the early 1980s, though, “The Cobra” took one of the hardest falls, and the Bucs had passed on re-signing him when he became a free agent after the 1983 season.


The problem for Parker was, not only had he stained his reputation, but he had also started to put on weight, and the flashy, powerful right fielder who dazzled the baseball world just five years earlier wrapped up 1983 looking completely washed up.


With nothing to lose and the lore of a little good publicity during what was sure to be yet another rebuilding year, Reds’ general manager Bob Howsam took a chance on Parker and signed the 33-year-old just under $3 million on a three-year contract.


If Parker could regain his former stature, it would be a bargain.

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