KFCholesterolLook at those chunks of chicken warming so innocently in the bain-marie.

All the while inside them sleep groups of atoms arranged into long chains of trans fats, missing hydrogen in various spots making them kinked and unwieldy molecules.

Gathered like armies in that delicious, crunchy skin, they are set to tumble through your arteries, the sticky ends of their molecule chain groping blindly in the dark of your bloodstream, latching onto water, other fats, or the blood vessel wall.

There they’ll wait, accumulating more of their kinky comrades to form megamolecules, until one day they dislodge and tumble along your wine-dark river, fording the tributaries of arteries, rafting into the arteriole runs, only to lodge at the branching mouth of a stream of capillaries deep inside your brain.

Dammed, the red river piles up. The blood vessel quivers like a over-filled water balloon, and bursts its banks.

This is a picture of death. Delicious, crunchy death.

National Novel Writing Month: done and dusted

NaNoWriMo 09 winnerIt hurt.  But I managed to get 50,000 words written through the month of November.  Some interesting facts about them:

  • It’s actually 50,021 words long (by the NaNoWriMo.org counter) or 50,219 (as counted by Google Docs);
  • The word cloud suggests I use the word ‘back’ a lot;
  • Printed, it forms a pile that’s 13.15mm high (plus or minus 0.01mm).

Beauford by Sean M Elliott

It’s interesting to look back at how my word count progressed.  Once you’re behind it’s really hard to catch up.  (There’s a few days where I was internet-free, hence the enormous jump around day 15/16).

NaNoWriMo Stats Sean

Overall, I’m happy with the finished product.  I’ve learned some useful skills, and discovered quite a lot of themes I’m passionate about working their way into the text: illusion, automatons, weird Lovecraftian horror.

So right now I’m going to stick it in a drawer for a few weeks, then look at it again after I’ve focussed on things like my family and work and life in general.

I would suggest to anyone who is serious about writing to do it next year to help kick-start if you’re having trouble putting your pen to paper.  For me, though, one NaNoWriMo will possibly be enough.

National Novel Writing Month: Reason.

National Novel Writing Month is happening in November, so I’m going to write a novel.

Well, no, not exactly.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 in a month, which is precisely what I’m going to shoot for. No more. No less.

And if in bleeding over the keyboard I happen to have 50,000 words form itself into a novel; fabulous! The best I can hope for on that front is probably something pretty Dada-esk.

Instead, I’m using NaNoWriMo as an exercise for two reasons: setting the personal challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month; and using that to entrench a writing habit at home.

Currently my day involves getting out of bed; helping the family out the door; doing my day job; helping my family have dinner and get ready for bed; collapsing in a heap in bed via the couch.

The act of writing 2,000 to 3,000 words a day will expose the wasted parts of the day, as well as the little nooks of time I didn’t know I had, much like pouring sand into a container of marbles. Or how liquid gets into chalk.

You can keep abreast of my progress on my page at NaNoWriMo.org.

Bios, and other histories.

For Scientifica (published later this year) I’m supposed to put together a 50 word bio about myself. Writing about myself, which is selling myself; not one of my strong points.

Frankly, I’m tempted to go down the Good Omens track, where in the third person Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman ask the reader for banana daiquiris and money respectively.

Something that I’ve stood by these past few years is that history of Australia is more interesting than what I was taught: Gold Rush and Explorers. The sum total of Australian history for me was some gold was found, and a bunch of guys got lost in the desert and died.

Luckily, John Howard’s history of Australia went down in flames last November. Every last Don Bradman six of it.

So, I propose a new history of Australia be written: “Australian History: The Bits John Howard Didn’t Want You To See.” Tonight on ABC was a good starting point: Hunt Angels. It told the story of Australian director Rupert Kathner, but the bit that took my imagination was the Sydney of 1920 to 1940. More like Capone’s Chicago.