So I was going gangbusters on Nanowrimo … until life intervened.
I work at the Search Engine That Starts With A G. It’s a fun but tough job that nonetheless leaves me with a great work life balance. I have time to work, time to write, and time to spend with my wife and cats (friends tend to get short shrift though ).
But we have a software release coming up, and as usual for software development schedules (but unusual for The G) everything was under-resourced, the project was late, and no time was left for integration. This was a last minute project, a great opportunity for my team that came up at the last minute, so this is a bit understandable. But it’s still been a bear.
I was still writing though. Half my team’s out sick, on trips, whatever, and I’m still writing. I’m doing the lion’s share of the integration, the rest of the team doing the lion’s share of the coding, and I’m still writing. Then we get down to the wire … and still have showstopper bugs.
At this point this week we were supposed to finish, attend a research symposium, and then join our research colleagues on an offsite. My boss was reluctant to bail on this, but I told him I was planning to skip the symposium and the offsite, to work on Saturday if I have to … because there just wasn’t enough time for me to finish my work otherwise. Not even if I temporarily dropped Nano.
Nano got dropped anyway. My bosses agreed with me, we mostly bailed on the symposium and almost all of us bailed on the offsite. For the time of this last push, my Nano tracking sheet lists zero, though I’m sure I got a couple of hundred words in that day (just didn’t track them). We worked long into Friday night … and nailed all our P0 bugs.
But actually I didn’t get any words done that day – I’d forgotten to charge my laptop. I do a lot of writing at breakfast, but without the laptop I had to break out my notebook and plan the story. It’s become much more elaborate recently, and this gave me a chance to think.
We came back and tackled the project again today Saturday, nailing all our P1 bugs and some of the P2s. I packed up my computer for the office move and prepared to leave, when my boss had a brainflash about fixing the first of our customer requests. He asked me for pointers on how to fix it … but I knew how, my laptop was already open in my lap, and I could do it before I could explain it.
So I did. My boss pushed the code to the site … and lo and behold we’d nailed the first of the customer’s requests, transitioning from bugfixes to pre-launch polishing in a 40-minute last-minute push that was faster than everything that came before it. Boo-yah.
So when I went to dinner tonight, I gave myself permission to have a great meal, go get some great coffee, to chill out, and not to Nano. I’m ahead, and can get back to it tomorrow, which is completely free thanks to our hard work and my previous time getting ahead at Nano.
But I’d forgotten to charge my laptop Friday. I’d written notes; I’d ruminated on them all night. Not even meaning to. And so, when I sat down for coffee … the words, they just started spilling out. And I easily made today’s word count. Double boo-yah. Here’s a sample:
“Sinny and Tully, sittin’ in a tree,” Mom says.
“K-I-S-S-I-N-G,” I finishes. I turns red as a beet, looking over at Tully and Ben. Tully’s just leaning against the rail, watching Ben fume as he scrubs the floor on his hands and knees. “But while we’re there in the orchard, this fae comes by, offers us some fruit—”
“I swear,” Mom says, “I will slap you through this phone if you ate that fruit.”
I holds the phone an arms length away again. I don’t know all of Mom’s powers. For a moment I’m scared she can do it.
Never eat the fruit of elfland … unless you’re a smart little spellpunk who specializes in tricky logic problems.
So, back to HEX CODE, and here’s hoping life continues to stop intervening. Onward!