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Failing NaNoWriMo with Minty Breath

[“School is almost over for the year,” you say.

“Yes,” I agree. “But final exams start next week.”]

I’ve failed NaNoWriMo for the year. I know that now. I started it with the best intentions and spirit — recently edited into this. I bragged about setting a high word count for the month (60,000) words. Guess where I am now? Did you guess 58,000 words short of the goal? If so, you were right. Congratulations. I’m not going to be able to make that all up and get everything else done that is due this weekend. If I did nothing else, I might make it. My upper limit for a day of writing is around 10,000 words. However, school. With several projects due (in both coding and writing), I am not going to be able to put in the time I need.

This year was no different from last year (in which I also failed, but made it to 20,000 words). However, both this year and the year before were different than 2009. During the time before I had even taken college-level English classes, I made it to 63,000 words in the month of November. At the time though I was only a part-time student (with a part-time job) and could spend hours, if I so chose, writing in my free time. I laugh at the idea now. What an imagination I have, a ‘time where I could put hours into writing per night’!

Instead of writing, and to get my mind off of school, I have been working on — in fits and bursts — Minty Breath. It’s a project based on Line‘s Mouthwash work. After spending weeks saying how I would do something, I thought it might be worth it to just do it myself. It is easy to recommend things like using a “timed PriorityQueue”. It’s quite another thing to learn — first hand — how crazy that would be code in practice. (What I said is probably the best answer eventually but harder to code in initial practice. It depends on several things I had not considered at the time, like having something in place to track time and handling that information between classes — not trivial.)

I decided I should probably just start my own codebase for the project. So, I did. Parts — like the private member data of the Character class — will show up as I have time to upload them. This, the project itself, and using a blog to allow people to publicly comment on design is a work in progress. In fact, I might just put all the code online somewhere and allow anyone who has the time (i.e. not currently me) to go in and submit bugs or improvements. I’m looking at a number of source control systems for just that purpose. I’ll update this blog (and that one) once I’ve decided what I want to do for that.

After next week, I should have more time and plan to get back to the daily schedule of writing. I personally look forward to that — and, of course, school being over for several weeks.