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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day 3: Unwanted Words & Conspiracy Theories

I wrote thousands of words today... And not a damn one is NaNo related. It is well after 11 p.m. on the eastern seaboard and this tired reporter has only just gotten home.

Today was ELECTION DAY. If you're a journalist on the first Tuesday in November you can pretty much kiss your life goodbye. The worst part is that it's not over when the polls close and the votes are tallied. Oh no, that's when it begins.

But today couldn't have been just a normal evil election day full of ridiculous political showings, hand-kissing and baby-shaking. (Or is that the other way around?) No. I started my morning with a server outage at work. With the exception of lights and Microsoft Word, I was effectively Amish. Phone, e-mail, internet -- KAPUT!

That lasted until nearly 1 p.m., so, needless to say, I didn't exactly get a jump on things. I crawled along, making do with my cell phone until technology was restored. Then I finished my non-election-related stories in time to serve as Pizza Wench for my office. We always order on election night and the boss pays, so that's a plus.

By then it was nearly 7 p.m., the polls had closed, and we waited anxiously for votes to appear on the State Board of Elections website. If you're thinking, "So you sat in front of the computer clicking refresh every 30 seconds in a futile attempt to make votes appear?" You'd be absolutely correct. Four reporters. Four computers. Four incessantly clicking mouses.

That's because the county I work in is one of the slowest in the Commonwealth of Virginia for tallying votes. Despite the advent of electronic voting machines, I swear this county still counts votes on an abacus. An hour after the polls closed they were still dusting the thing off.

The clicking continued. Random bits of information were shouted across the office. "Chris has 36% in Powhatan." "I think Phil could lose this one." "Still nothing in the school board race."

Finally at 8:45 p.m., with only one precinct outstanding, I ventured out the the winners party to take photos and talk to the happy crowd. They were mostly gone when I arrived, but I snapped a few shots, grabbed a few quotes and was on the run again. Back to the office with 30 minutes to write a story before the guys on press start to get antsy.

Long story short, today was anti-NaNo. The world conspires against you sometimes and, on this particular Tuesday, it went over and above to make sure I didn't so much as open the file containing my novel.

Thanks for that World. You've really out-done yourself.

Words: 1,765
Mood: Exhausted
Music: Lily Frost - "Enchantment"

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