Download the novel here. (in Word-readable RTF format, 380k)

It's over.

As of 11:47 P.M. and thirty-seven seconds Central Standard Time on Saturday, November 30, 2002, _Apogee Meadows_ was validated by NaNoWriMo. I am no longer an aspiring writer. I am now an amateur novelist, with professional aspirations.

More specifically, I'm the dark horse of NaNoWriMo, baby. Until November 21st, I didn't even have six thousand words. In the last twenty-four hours alone, I have cranked out just under thirteen thousand. If there is someone else out there who would like to vie for the title of comeback king, I'd love to meet them.

I'd like to thank Ann for suggesting that I participate. I'd like to thank Nancy for telling me that I could do it. I'd like to thank Allen for telling me that I couldn't -- your Jedi mind tricks are crude, but effective. I'd like to thank my family for their constant reinforcement. I'd like to thank my cat, Fortune, for glaring at me evilly when I was hunched over the keyboard at five in the morning. I'd like to thank the dozens of other friends and enemies who took the time to ask me how it was going, or to mock my weaker turns of phrase, or to put up with my erratic behavior over the last week, or to ICQ or mail me relentlessly with messages of support. You're good people, and I owe you beer.

If this whole thing boiled down to one person -- and I believe that it does -- it would be Brieann. I do not know of a more beautiful, patient, supportive, versatile, creative, loving, encouraging, forgiving person than Brieann. She kept me focused, she kept me sane, she kept me inspired, she kept me organized, she kept me positive, she kept me healthy, and she kept me fed. She suffered through a whole lot of craziness and a whole lot of sleepless nights, and managed to do it while still being the most incredible human being I've ever met. There is no doubt in my mind that I could not have finished this without her. Honestly, I doubt I could have even begun it. Brieann, I love you with all of my heart. I could not possibly repay you everything I owe you, but I will certainly try.

Incidentally, the novel weighs in on my word processor at 50,262 words. By way of comparison, that's about a hundred times the size of this email, or a little under a hundred 8.5 x 11" pages in Arial 10-point font -- I'm not sure how that translates to a bound book, but my understanding is that it would work out to between one hundred fifty to two hundred pages. There's a twenty-thousand word excerpt posted for the curious at; in a few days, the whole thing will be up there, and in a convenient printable version, to boot. Sure, it's rambling and it's shamelessly padded, and in many spots it's awkward and juvenile, but it's coherent in a few places, and amusing in a few others. And it's done. And it's mine.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, has been my ego trip for the month of November.

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Download the novel here. (in Word-readable RTF format, 380k)

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