I've got bad news, but maybe it's actually good news in disguise.
The bad news is simple: It doesn't look like I'm going to get to 50,000 words by the end of November. I gave it a good college try, and I'll still be writing something during the long weekend, but hitting the 50K mark by that deadline is strictly off the table.
It wasn't just that I fell behind. I'm genuinely exhausted, and it's the kind of exhaustion that crept up on me and invaded my bones and blood while I was convincing myself it was just "laziness". I'd dealt with back-to-back conventions, friends visiting, a surprising amount of work (both the kind that provides a paycheck and otherwise), family obligations, and that stupid ATI "driver stopped responding" error. Throw NaNo on top of that and you have a recipe for do-it-yourself anemia.
How any of this is good news is disguise is hard to fathom, I suspect. Well, it means I've given myself that much more permission to take it easy for the rest of the year. I have a good idea for how Tokyo Inferno is to be written and wrapped, and I don't need to have it done and put to bed until this coming August. Heck, if I get lucky, I can wrap that and then maybe go back to work on the project that was NaNo '07 (which remains unfinished, and more annoyingly, untitled).
On the first day of NaNoWriMo 2008, I racked up a nice, solid 2,143 words for Tokyo Inferno. My initial hesitancies about how difficult it was going to be and whether or not I would get mired down in topical details have more or less melted away. It's a first draft, and getting to the finish line / rounding all the bases / [insert metaphor here] matters most right now.
I'm gunning for a total length of about 120,000 words or so, although I don't mind it coming in a little shorter than that. I'm more concerned with making sure the right tone and substance are all present. So far, they are there, and all the ingredients are obediently lining up and allowing themselves to be made present.
Now if the @#$%&* NNWM website would just let me log in and post an update ... (Yet another argument for cloud-base hosting. Between hard drives dying and the power in their data center going out, I'm expecting an eighteen-wheeler to come crashing through the wall of the hosting center and grind the server into tinfoil.)
Update: I'll have the most recent word counts posted via Twitter.